There are currently 235,000 known species of flowering plants in the world, and more are discovered every year. More than 60 percent of these grow in the warm, wet climate of tropical rainforests. Some tropical flowers go to extremes in size, odor, and survival strategies. Most of these couldn't survive in a suburban garden, and you probably wouldn't want them to.
There are, however, some uncommon flowers that you can safely harbor in your garden or on your window sill. In this article, we'll examine ten very unusual flowers.
1. Snake's Head (Fritillaria meleagris)
A species of flowering plant in the family Liliaceae. Its other common names include Chess Flower, Frog Cup, Guinea Hen Flower, Leper Lily (because its shape resembled the bell once carried by lepers), Lazarus Bell, Checkered Lily, or northern Europe, simply Fritillary.
2. Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba)
This unusual flowering plant is native to tropical regions of Asia and Africa and belongs to the family Colchicaceae. Flame Lily usually grows as a tuberous climbing plant and produces unusual red or yellow flowers with wavy edges. It is the national flower of Zimbabwe.
3. Corpse Lily (Rafflesia arnoldii)
This remarkable flower is the largest in the world. Unfortunately, it is rare and hard to find in its natural habitat, the rain forests of Bengkulu, Sumatra Island, and Indonesia. Flowers emit a bad smell and can be as wide as 3.3 feet (1 m) and weigh up to 24 lbs (11 kg).
4. Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)
Bird of Paradise, also known as Crane Flower, is another unusual flower from South Africa. The plant belongs to the family Strelitziaceae and produces unusually colorful and beautiful flowers resembling birds.
5. Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)
6. Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)
A species of flowering plant in the Poppy family, native to Siberia, northern China, Korea, and Japan. It is valued in gardens and in floristry for its heart-shaped pink flowers (that are poisonous). It is also known as Lady-in-a-Bath.
7. Maypop Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata)
A fast-growing perennial vine with climbing or trailing stems with large, intricate flowers with prominent styles and stamens. A member of the passionflower genus Passiflora. It is a common wildflower in the southern United States. Also known as Purple Passionflower, True Passionflower, Wild Apricot, and Wild Passion Vine.
8. Sea Poison Tree (Barringtonia asiatica)
A species of Barringtonia, common along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. They have a sickly sweet smell that attracts bats and moths at night. It is grown along streets for decorative and shade purposes in some parts of India.
9. Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior)
A species of an herbaceous perennial plant. It is an exceptionally red, waxy flower found throughout gardens in Costa Rica. The showy flowers are used in decorative arrangements, while the flower buds are an important ingredient in the Nyonya dish Laksa. In North Sumatra, the flower buds are used for a dish called Arsik Ikan.
10. Huernia oculata
This flowering plant belongs to the family Apocynaceae. The plant produces small succulent stems that can be used to propagate the plant. The plant is fairly easy to grow in well-drained soil and dry climate.
- Plantpedia: Browse flowering plants by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, or Origin