"Cobra lily." Those two words pack so much contradiction: A poisonous snake vs. a gorgeous flower. Aggression that's fatal vs. wouldn't-hurt-a-fly beauty. Sudden messy combat vs. stately and welcoming display.
The perennial that bears the extraordinary flowers below isn't a lily at all, let alone some sort of fastidiously-striped snake. And for all the cues that we humans could see as predatory (that needle-like tip, the front-and-forward helmet covering...well, what?) or salacious (what is going on in there?), Arisaema fargesii needs plenty of kindness and effort to feel welcome in most gardens.
Only when under attack-by-chewing does the plant fight back: Sharp crystals in its tuber cause immediate and painful swelling. But if you can put your arm around its shoulder, not your teeth into its tuber, a cobra lily is a safe and sensational thrill.