Congratulations, You're Ugly

Part One: Last night, an interesting topic came up in conversation: the World's Ugliest Dog competition. Most of you will likely be familiar with the competition because of Sam, the legendary paragon of ugly and competitive dogs. I myself am partial to runner-up Munchkin, however, because Munchkin proves that you can be unanimously voted as ugly and still have faith in humanity. Look at her face; that is the face of a repugnant cur, but a super happy one. She obviously feels as if she's very pretty, so more power to her. Go Munchkin!

Part Two: On Saturday, my friend Julia and I took a voyage out to visit Ted's Greenhouse once again, and came across a cactus called Opuntia articulata, the Paper Spine cactus. It is, without a doubt, the ugliest plant I have ever seen. It's an ugly gray lump, and the spines are soft and pathetic. This plant is not ill or malformed in any way - in fact it is in perfect health. Just as it is, by the grace of nature, it looks the way it does. If I were this cactus, I would call up Nature and say, "Hey, Nature. Thanks for giving me the Super-Ugly gene, bee-otch. Peace out."

However, as you may be able to tell from the first part of this story, I can appreciate something that is fuck-ugly as long as it is confidently so. So, O. articulatus had to come home with me. I think it's interesting and hilarious, and it has the perfect color for winter. Imagine it sitting alongside the jarrahdale pumpkins with me this fall. Hooray Opuntia!

So, do you have a houseplant that could compete with Opuntia articulata?


  1. I absolutely do. The ugliest plant in my collection is far and away my Hylocereus. It was ugly when I wrote the profile on it, but has only become more lopsided, unevenly colored, and full of aerial roots with time. I've seen pictures of big specimens in their natural habitat, and once they've filled in a little, they're somewhat less awful, or at least more symmetrical (and the aerial roots don't show then, either), but they're still never what you'd call beautiful.

  2. Oh lord! Poor Hylocereus. I can't look directly at it.