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People Are Picking Carnivorous Plants That Look Like Penises. Apparently, It’s A Problem

Photo by TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP via Getty Images

Kay Smythe Commentary Writer
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The Cambodian government has asked people to stop picking a rare carnivorous plant that looks like a penis.

The Cambodian Ministry of Environment posted a series of photographs to their Facebook page earlier this month showing three young women picking the rare plant. “What they are doing is wrong and please don’t do it again in the future! Thank you for loving natural resources, but don’t harvest so it goes to waste!” the Ministry wrote in the caption of the shots.

The Ministry’s post came in response to a video of the women picking the flowers that was shared online, Newsflare reported. The women were reportedly on Bokor Mountain in Kampot province, the outlet continued. (RELATED: Bad-A** Cat Gets Shot By Arrow, Believed To Have Taken Arrow Out By Himself)

Botanical illustrator Francois Mey told Live Science that these rare flowers only grow in the Cardamom Mountains of western Cambodia, and only a few researchers even know where to find them. The plant’s habitat has decreased due to rapid urbanization and agricultural development on private lands, according to a study published in the Cambodian Journal of Natural History.

The plants, called N. holdenii and N. bokorensis, are known colloquially as “pitchers” due to their shape, Live Science noted. The plants survive by supplementing their nutrient intake with live insects, the outlet continued.

“When you smell a bokorensis pitcher, it smells sweet — just like a candy,” Mey told the outlet. When insects fall inside the pitcher, they drown in digestive fluids and the plant absorbs the insects’ nutrients.