Officials plead that these rare carnivorous penis plants aren't picked

Officials have asked individuals to please not pick the carnivorous plants that look phallic when viewed from a certain angle.

1 minute & 13 seconds read time

Officials have shared images on Facebook of three women posing with the strangely shaped plants and have asked the public to refrain from picking them.

Officials plead that these rare carnivorous penis plants aren't picked 01

The Cambodian Ministry of Environment has asked the public to stop picking the rare plant species, writing in its Facebook post that what the three women in the included images are doing is "wrong", "and please don't do it again in the future!". LiveScience spoke to Jeremy Holden, a freelance wildlife photographer and the discoverer of the Nepenthes holdenii plant species, and Francois Mey, a botanical illustrator.

The two informed the publication that despite numerous reports of the plant in the photos being Nepenthes holdenii, it was more closely related to Nepenthes bokorensis, which is more widely found across southwest Cambodia. These Nepenthes plants survive by producing nectar that attracts insects that climb inside of the plant and become trapped in digestive fluids.

Officials plead that these rare carnivorous penis plants aren't picked 02

The plants have been in steady decline due to agricultural expansion across the region, which is why Mey recommends that if you see one to leave it alone.

"If people are interested, even in a funny way, to pose, to make selfies with the plants, it's fine. Just do not pick the pitchers because it weakens the plant, because the plant needs these pitchers to feed," said Mey.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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