Nothing beats the beauty of ethereal flowers coming to full bloom in the spring. Not only do flowers improve the aesthetic of a place, but they appeal to a variety of our senses too. While their visual appeal is the most common factor, even their sweet fragrance has a calming effect on our senses.
There are some flowers all of us have heard of – lilies, daisies, roses, etc. However, there’s a whole other dimension of flowers that are so rare, that they deserve special mentions.
If you’re an anthophile (a person who loves flowers), look no further than this round-up. We have gathered information for gardening enthusiasts on 17 of the most beautiful and rare flowers from around the world. Fortunately, some of them can even be grown in your front yard, on the window-pane, or indoor mini-garden!
1. Middlemist Camellia Red Flower
Considered to be one of the rarest flowers in the world, Middlemist Camellia flowers are only found in two places on the globe. Namely, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. In fact, they are so rare that there are only two known samples of this flower.
However, while the name suggests the color of the flower to be red, they have an alluring, bright pink hue. Even better, the flower has a striking resemblance to roses, such that, if someone is not educated about flowers, they might even get confused by its appearance.
Not only do these flowers have an attractive appearance, but multiple health benefits too. They are said to have amazing antioxidants and miraculous age delaying properties. One may even call it the most valuable flower to ever exist.
2. Youtan Puolo (Udambara Flower)
While it is still widely debated whether this would fall under the rare flowers, we cannot deny that it does hold some mystical properties. Said to blossom only once in 3000 years, these flowers have a fragrance matching that of sandalwood, strong enough to fill a room.
The most distinct feature of this flower is its ability to grow anywhere, out of nothing. Unlike all flowers that need a seed to grow from, Youtan Puolo can grow on cars, wood, etc, that too without seeds, water, or soil.
This diaphanous flower has a symbolic meaning in Buddhism, as suggested by its name. To explain, the Sanskrit word “Udambara” means an auspicious flower derived straight from heaven. There have even been mentions of this flower in ancient Buddhist scriptures, adding to its’ spiritual value.
Thus, the next time you see tiny tulip-like structures growing on your furniture, you best believe that Lord Buddha has graced your home.
3. Juliet Rose
When we talk about rare flowers, it is no surprise that a few of them might even fall under the “most expensive” category. The Juliet rose is one such flower. Widely known as the most expensive rose in the world, this flower can cost anywhere between $3 million to $5 million.
Conversely, it is not the beauty of this flower that makes it so expensive, but the amount of time and money that was taken to create it. A famous rose breeder named David Austin spent $3 million and 15 years to create this peach-pink-hued rose.
All this exclusivity and hard work might make you conclude that this flower is high-maintenance. But, we’re here to prove that wrong! It can adapt to all soil types, and only requires a lot of sunlight, making the Juliet rose rather low-maintenance.
4. Kadupul Flower
If a $5 million price tag on a flower stuns you, brace yourself for an even bigger shock. The Kadulpul flower is so rare that it is listed as priceless, making it out of reach to even buy.
Its value arises from the fact that this flower perishes a few hours after blooming. Moreover, they’re really tough to spot, since they bloom at dawn, and have already perished by the morning. This short lifespan has made it impossible to bring the flower to markets, thus characterizing it as a flower that cannot be bought.
Not to mention, while this flower blooms for little time, it takes almost a year for it to reach full bloom. Thus, only adding to the exclusivity of the flower. But none of these factors stop you from being there to absorb the beauty of the flower in bloom, even if it is transient.
5. Parrot’s Beak
As the name suggests, this flower matches the beak of a parrot in appearance. It has an orangish-crimson hue and a lobster-claw-shaped aesthetic.
Despite its exoticness, the parrot’s beak can easily be grown in your backyard. All that is needed are warm temperatures, ample sunlight, and regular watering. Usually, it is cultivated using stem cuttings, and grown indoors, in pots.
If you live in colder temperatures, you can invest in a DIY greenhouse, and grow this exotic plant and many more without restrictions.
6. Ghost Orchid
Ghost orchids are stunning white flowers that are found only in Cuba and the flooded parts of South Florida. They get their name stemming from the fact that they seem to float in the forest. To explain why this happens, ghost orchids have no foliage and thin roots connecting them to the trees they grow on. These roots tend to camouflage with the forest, making it seem like the flowers are floating.
It is because of this rarity that these flowers are actively hunted by poachers in the wild. Even though these are extremely tough to find, some poachers may risk their lives looking for them. Primarily because ghost orchids have a high price in the black market.
Although, like most rare flowers, ghost orchids cannot survive for too long once removed from their habitat. Therefore, you cannot cultivate them in your own home. The best way to enjoy their beauty is in their natural habitat, the woods.
7. Shenzhen Nongke Orchid
This is another one of the rare flowers that match its uniqueness with its price. Developed in 8 years, this flower is completely man-made. To add to its distinctiveness, this orchid blooms only once in 4-5 years.
It is so treasured that a bidder paid $200,000 for this orchid at an auction in 2005. Its price stems from how rare the cultivar of this flower is, as illustrated by the beautiful hues of green and purple this breath-taking beauty adorns.
8. Franklin Tree
Known to grow on single-branched trees, this flower has been extinct in the wild since the early 1800s. Thus, all Franklin tree flowers that exist today are due to ex-situ conservation efforts by botanical gardens around the world. Contrastingly, these flowers are easy to grow. Their only requirements being soil with good drainage, full to partial sunlight, and regular watering.
These flowers have beautiful, white symmetrical petals and a sweet, honeysuckle-like scent. Additionally, the leaves of this plant turn into a delightful shade of red in the fall, giving this plant immense ornamental value.
The only problem it poses is with transplantation. The franklin tree has a complex and sensitive root system, making it difficult to transplant without damaging the plant.
9. Cooke’s Kokio
Considered to be one of the most endangered and rare flowers in the world, Cooke’s Kokio is only found in some parts of Hawaii. Approximately 23 grafted plants of this species currently exist, found in cultivation. The reason for the loss of this flower was the deprivation of its native habitat due to a forest fire. Not only was its habitat lost, but most of the flowers got burned down too.
These deciduous trees cannot be grown in your backyard because of their specific growing requirements. They’re also extinct in the wild. Thus, if you want to see these beautiful crimson flowers, you will have to visit one of the out-planting sites in Hawaii where they grow.
10. Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid
Said to fetch as much as $5000 per stem in the black market, this flower is so rare that it is protected by the Malaysian government. It is native to the Kinabalu National Park in Malaysia and is illegal to pick. However, it’s this uniqueness of the flower that makes it prone to getting picked by smugglers, making it endangered.
One main reason these flowers are rare is that they take 15 years to bloom. Of course, they are outstandingly beautiful, as attested by their yellow-black sleek petals, making them even more exotic.
Ultimately, it stays true to its title- “Aristocrat of the slipper orchids”.
11. Chocolate Cosmos
Much as the name explains, chocolate cosmos has a rich, chocolate fragrance as opposed to the floral scent most flowers have. It has remarkable reddish-brown petals and a velvety texture. Their description is so similar to chocolates, one might as well believe we are describing chocolates!
While these plants are extinct in the wild, you can grow them in small containers or in your backyard with minimal effort. Just make sure to give it enough sunlight, nutrient-rich soil, and a moderate amount of water. And soon you’ll have a backyard smelling like cocoa and vanilla!
12. Night Blooming Cereus
The night-blooming cereus, also called “Queen of the Night” and “Princess of the Night”, is a rare desert flower that blooms only once a year, at night. Thus, even though this flower is astonishing to look at, it’s the exquisiteness of its bloom that makes it rare.
It has elongated white petals and belongs to the cactus family. But, unlike most cacti, this plant doesn’t have thorns. It has beautiful long leaves instead. And, a perfume strong enough to spread in your house, when it blooms.
The functioning of this flower is almost magical. It blooms once a year, fills your house up with an intense scent, and wilts as the first ray of sun touches it.
Fortunately, this is one of the rare flowers you can grow at home. Just get a pot, fertilizer (check these noteworthy ones out), and an area with enough sunlight to get started!
13. Jade Vine
Native to the forests of the Philippines, these flowers have become rare due to extensive deforestation. The Jade Vine, as the name suggests, has a remarkable greenish-blue hue, which is not common among flowers.
They almost form a necklace-like structure with their claw-shaped flowers and are magnificent to look at. It’s these properties that make this flower a popular ingredient in lei-making. What’s shocking is that this magnificent plant belongs to the peas and beans family.
Not to mention, these flowers have a luminescent look at twilight, making bats their main pollinators. At the same time, it is difficult to propagate these flowers, leading them to become even more endangered.
14. Gibraltar Campion
This flower is distinct because of its backstory, more than it is because of its appearance or availability. Known to have gone extinct in 1992, these flowers surprised botanists around the United Kingdom when they were found growing on a cliff in Gibraltar. Thus, also explaining the derivation of its name.
However, they remain rare and are only found in London and of course, Gibraltar.
15. Monkey Orchid
Just as the name suggests, this flower seems to resemble the face of a capuchin monkey. They’re native to South-eastern Ecuador and grow at altitudes approximating 2,000 meters.
It is not just the appearance that makes these flowers appealing, but their fragrance too. They smell like ripe oranges when in full bloom. And the best part is, they can bloom during any season and any time.
The uniqueness of this flower might make you believe that it’s impossible to grow at home. In contrast, these flowers can be grown in your backyard, provided you take special care of them.
16. Happy Alien
One of the most unique-looking flowers, the happy alien plant is native to South America. It resembles a happy-faced alien holding an empty white tray in its hands. This flower is even called Darwin’s Slipping Flower, based on the fact that it was first discovered by Charles Darwin around 1831. Thus, giving this flower not just a unique appearance, but a historic backstory too!
They grow on rocks because of their short roots and do not grow more than 4 inches. Additionally, they are pollinated by hummingbirds, through the white tray-like structure.
17. Sea Daffodil
The sea daffodil is a Mediterranean marvel, and for good reason. It was originally found in the Mediterranean region and has adapted itself to survive the harshest weather conditions, which most flowers cannot. This may seem surprising considering how dainty the flowers look.
They have delicate blue-grey leaves, a frilly appearance, and an elongated green stem. But, these flower bulbs are known to be poisonous. This gives you good reason to stay away from the plant, other than the fact that it is classified as an endangered and protected plant.
If this plant has your attention, you will be happy to know you can plant it in your home too. All that you need to do is to impersonate the natural habitat of the flower. Fortunately, that is an easy task if you live in a sunny place. Buy some seeds, get a pot, fill it with sand, and you have the perfect setup for growing sea daffodils!
While we have listed 17 rare flowers here, all of which received the ‘rare’ title due to different reasons, there are multitudes of other flowers that may be just as rare. Thus, it is astounding to conclude that despite this expansive list, many species of flowers are yet to be discovered.
To put that in perspective for you, according to scientists, one-fifth of the world’s plant species are still undiscovered.
However, most of the flowers we listed are extinct in the wild, or endangered, mostly due to humans. We can only satisfy their safety by leaving them untouched, spreading awareness on the same, and hopefully learning a thing or two in the process.
Bonus Read: Consider taking up a backyard landscaping project, while you figure out what rare flower you want to inculcate in your outdoor setting.