Top 10 World’s Rarest Flowers
When we are talking about a top 10 of the world’s rarest flowers we’re obviously facing a difficult task, since scientists estimate that there are over 270,000 species of flowers on our big, blue marble. Nonetheless, we definitely think that you’ll enjoy reading about these delicate and beautiful plants, especially since most of them were or still are on the brink of extinction. Here is our top 10 regarding the rarest flowers in the world:
10. Campion (Silene tomentosa)
This beautiful purple flower was actually on the verge of extinction in 1992, when scientists realized that all traces of it disappeared. The flower would only grow in Gibraltar, and even though everyone thought it had vanished from the face of the earth, one lonely specimen was found by a hiker by accident. The Campion is now grown in the Royal Botanic Gardens in London and in the Almeda Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, where it is appreciated for its unique aspect and incredible resilience.
9. The Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys)
The Jade Vine originates in the Philipines, but its existence is put in the balance during our days because of deforestation. This stunningly beautiful plant boasts claw-shaped flowers that come in a blue-green hue. These flowers are quite appreciated by bats, which are known to drink their nectar, thus pollinating the plant.
8. Parrot’s Beak (Lotus berthelotii)
The Parrot’s Beak flower illustrates a perfect example of the important connection between plants and animals. The plant originates in the Canary Islands, but it is currently believed to be extinct in the wild, since the sunbirds that used to pollinate it have gone extinct as well. There have been numerous attempts to find new pollinators for this unique plant but to no avail.
7. Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus)
Unfortunately, this special version of the Chocolate Orchid has been extinct in the wild for about a century but botanists made sure that it would survive through a clone created in 1902. Originally found in Mexico, this chocolate and vanilla scented flower measures between 1.1 and 1.5 inches in diameter, and it goes by the fitting name of Chocolate Cosmos.
6. Koki’o (Kokai cookei)
Boasting large, red flowers brimming with color and beauty, the Koki’o tree was declared extinct in 1950. However, in 1970, a single surviving specimen was found, only to perish in a fire 1978. As luck would have it, a single branch from the tree was recovered, which allowed the species to survive to this day. The Koki’o measures 36 feet in height, and it impresses with hundreds of gorgeous flowers each year.
5. Kadupul Flower (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)
This particular flower is not threatened by extinction, but it is still quite rare nonetheless, since it only blooms rarely and exclusively during the night. This strange behavior gave way to a series of legends, especially in the Buddhist religion, one stating that when it blooms, the Nagas descend from the heavens and take the flower away in order to present it as a gift to Buddha. Moreover, the Japanese call this beautiful, delicate flower “Beauty under the Moon”, which is a fitting name, wouldn’t you say?
4. Ghost Orchid (Epipogium aphyllum/Dendrophylax lindenii)
The Ghost Orchid is a very pretentious flower that was believed to be extinct for 2 decades. Highly selective, this particular orchid can only feed with the help of a specific fungus that needs to be close to its roots, since the flower itself has no leaves and thus no way of using photosynthesis. The Ghost Orchid grows on the cypress trees of Cuba, and it appears to be floating around in mid air, hence the name. Furthermore, it can only be pollinated by the giant sphinx moth, and it will only reproduce if its seeds land on a specific moss.
3. Yellow and Purple Lady Slippers (Cypripedium calceolus)
The Cypripedium calceolus is a very rare flower that can only be found on a golf course in Britain, where it thrives under police protection since 1917. The reason for this measure is that the flower is also quite valuable, since it is very difficult to cultivate, a single cutting being worth $5,000.
The Cypripedium reginae is another very rare Lady Slipper flower, and just like the Ghost Orchid, it requires nourishment from a specific type of fungus. With its bright yellow “slipper” shaped flowers and dark purple tendrils, this beautiful plant is indeed quite impressive to look at.
2. Youtan Poluo
Highly mysterious, the Youtan Poluo has no official scientific name, and it was originally discovered by a Chinese farmer, who stumbled upon it while it was growing in his steel pipes. Later, the flower was also spotted by a nun growing under her washing machine. This unique plant boasts 28 white, sweet smelling flowers that measure no more than 1mm in diameter. The Youtan Poluo is a part of several in Indian myths and can be found in Buddhist scriptures, some saying that it only blooms every 3 millenniums, which would make it quite rare indeed.
1. The Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum)
As the largest and rarest flower in the world, the Corpse Flower can be found on the rainforest floors of Indonesia. This giant plant originates in Sumatra, and its flowers measure 6 feet in height as well as 3 feet in diameter. The reason for its imminent extinction is that this plant depends greatly on the Tetrastigma vine for survival. This vine ensures much needed nourishment as well as support for the Corpse Flower, since the flower itself does not have any roots, stems or leafs of its own. Its name was given because of its pungent smell that resembles rotting flesh, a smell that attracts beetles and flies on a regular basis. This unique, rare and giant flower blooms just one week before dying.