Flowers are beautiful and can introduce color and fragrance to any living space. Also, caring for them can become a relaxing hobby and an escape from our busy schedules. On that note, you can still take things a notch further if you’d want. For example, you can opt to plant some rare flowers that visitors will fixate on.
However, growing such species might be trickier than the common garden flowers. Yet, the results will be far more unique in the end.
This article lists ten of the rarest flowers you can cultivate today. Also, we will discuss their origin, growth conditions, and their special features.
The Top 10 Rare Flowers in the World
The status of this genus as the rarest flower in the world is no surprise. Though originally native to China, the Middlemist Red is now extinct in that country. Currently, only two remain in the world; one is in the UK (at the Chiswick House), while the other is in New Zealand. Regarding the one in the UK, sources say that it was imported by John Middlemist about two centuries ago, around the year 1804. The Middlemist Red looks like a rose but has a pinkish overtone.
Franklin Tree Flower
This flower was first discovered in the 1700s by John and William Bartram. Sources say the last Franklin tree flower in the wild died in the 1800s. Thankfully, a lot of its seeds had been saved before its extinction. Thus, thanks to passionate botanists, we can still lay eyes on this rare flower today.
The Franklin tree flower is indigenous to Georgia, US, and is named after one of the United States’ founding fathers – Benjamin Franklin. Its petals, usually five, are white but have yellowish stamens at the center.
The Ghost Orchid blooms best in a sunny and warm climate. Therefore, the flower grows excellently in locations like the Sunshine State (Florida) and Central America. The Ghost Orchid has no leaves; therefore, it does not derive energy from photosynthesis. Rather, the plant ‘borrows’ food from the nearby plants. The flower’s petals are somewhat star-shaped on the behind, with another part extending to the front. They are whitish but have a green undertone.
White American Waterlily
This is an aquatic plant cultivated primarily for ornamental purposes. You can find this plant in gently flowing or stagnant waters across America and Canada. In terms of looks, it is similar to the Franklin tree flower: yellowish stamens and a dozen white petals envelop its center. The petals open up in the daytime and shut at night. On a related note, this plant produces eight-inch leaves and also has an attractive fragrance.
Youtan Poluo, aka Buddhist Udumbara, is native to South Asia. The story behind the Youtan Poluo is quite mythical. According to Buddhist mythology, this flower only blooms once in three millennia (3,000 years). In fact, the growth marks the reincarnation of Buddha. Interestingly, the flower was recently found growing on the Buddha statue in Seoul. One may mistake the flower for lacewing eggs until they notice its sandalwood fragrance.
Endemic to Indonesia, the Corpse Flower is one of the tallest flowers, generally reaching about 100 inches. The plant has no roots and resembles a huge open leaf on the outside. A long wine shoots up from its purple center, giving it a very strange look. It falls under the category of rare flowers because it blossoms only once in a decade. You are probably wondering why such a beautiful flower carries a morbid tag. The reason is simple; the plant oozes a foul smell reminiscent of rotting meat.
Chocolate Cosmos is a perennial flower indigenous to Mexico; however, it no longer exists within that territory. For over a hundred years now, the plant has remained in existence through planting by propagation only in conservation areas. Its petals are reddish-brown like chocolate and, as the name suggests, give off a chocolatey scent. The flower blooms the most towards the end of the summer months, especially at night. Generally, the plant grows to about 18 to 30 inches.
The Jade Vine is an endangered claw-shaped flower homegrown in the Philippines. It was first discovered by Charles Wilkes, leader of the US Expedition to Luzon Island. The flower’s color lies somewhere between blue and green, while the petals hang upside down. It grows in clusters as a perennial woody vine. Unlike the Middlemist Red, it is difficult to grow the Jade Vine in isolation as it relies on flying creatures like bats or birds for pollination.
Acting as the reason for the flower’s name, its petals are similar to the beak of an actual parrot. Also known as the Lotus Beak, this flower is an extremely delicate one. It grows best under sunny conditions (not extreme), and fluctuating temperatures may cause it to wither. The plant is nearing extinction in the wild. However, the good part is that the flower grows easily through stem-cutting.
Dubbed as the Queen of the night, the Kadupul Flower only blooms during the nighttime. During this period, it releases its sweet smell into the air. Once picked, it is only a matter of hours before it dies completely. As a result, it is one of the most expensive flowers largely due to its short lifespan. Though the plant originates in Sri Lanka, you will find it in other parts of Asia, including India and China.
Several factors contribute to the fast-paced extinction of rare flowers. One is due to the complex or slow reproduction process of specific genera. For example, only two Middlemist Red flowers are left on the planet, and they are only still alive due to a carefully controlled system.
At the same time, many flowers have become rare due to rapid industrialization, deforestation, bush burning, etc. However, conservation programs have been helpful in the preservation of rare flowers. Therefore, we are hopeful these rare flowers will be around for a long time.