There are Interesting flowers with intriguing back stories, Here we look at some of the flowers that are deeply embedded in a human culture or for some reason are more interesting than other flowers. These interesting flowers are far and few between, which makes them even more interesting, their rarity.
Yes, tulips are pretty. Yes, they smell good. There are several types of tulips and they come in nearly every color imaginable. But, there is an interesting history concerning the tulip. The Netherlands is the largest producer and exporter of Tulips in the world. If you look up pictures of tulips you will undoubtedly find a picture of a field of rainbow colors too large to comprehend. This garden is known as “Keukenhof” which roughly translates to “Kitchen garden” in Dutch. It is also called the “Garden of Europe” and is the single largest concentration of Tulips in one place. The fact that this garden is in the Netherlands is no coincidence. Back in the 17th century, tulips were used as currency in the Netherlands. There was a point when the value of a tulip bulb was higher than the gold of the same weight and people were clambering upon each other trying to get their hands onto tulip bulbs. Even though tulips were the first native to Central Asia, one could assume, that tulips made their way to the Netherlands on the silk route and the rest was history, so to speak. In fact, in the 1630s Tulips were so heavily sought after that this particular era is referred to as “Tulip Mania” in Western Europe. Ironically enough, the tulip only blooms for 3 to 5 days which means during the “Tulip Mania” your “wealth” would only be good for 3 to 5 days, which gives some idea as to the “mania” part of the time.
The lotus can be considered as one of the most sacred flowers in the world if we were to look out how many different cultures revered it as being a symbol of something or the other which was beyond their comprehension. The truth of the matter is that lotuses can only bloom in rivers or damp wetlands, which means they require a lot of water, but uniquely so, during droughts, lotuses will simply lie dormant, only to bloom again when water returns. They can lie dormant for long durations. These qualities along with the fact that they are often found in swamps, with muddy waters, made them a source of fascination for ancient civilization and still continue to enjoy a special place in human cultures. The Egyptians considered them sacred because they could lie dormant for so long and would return with the return of water, symbolizing resurrection. The Buddhists, take the fact that lotuses can grow in muddy waters and that its beauty is not dampened by its “dirty” surroundings, as a symbol of inner strength and rising above the obstacles to let one’s inner beauty shine. Most major Hindu Gods are depicted with a lotus either in their hand or coming out of their body or they themselves sitting on a lotus. Indian culture really appreciates lotuses, so much so that lotus is the national flower of the country. All these factors combined certainly make lotuses an interesting flower, to say the least.
The reason bamboo is on this list is because of the unique phenomenon known as bamboo death which occurs in the Mizoram and Manipur states of India every 48 years. Now, the fact that this reoccurs every half a century creates a sense of significance around the event. We can term this an anomaly as it entails not just the synchronous seed shedding by all the bamboo in that region, but the subsequent tide of rats that follows it. When the Bamboo flowers in large groves simultaneously shed seeds for pollination, rats feed on these seeds and grow rapidly as compared to their natural rate of reproduction. The very size of a viable rat family increases during this period and once the rats are done with eating the bamboo seeds, they proceed to raid human coffers filled with grain causing severe famines. The rat-induced famines that occur during the bamboo flowering season have reoccurred without fail every single time this event occurs every 48 years as far back as we can tell. Very interesting, don’t you think?
4) Ladyslipper Orchids:
We used the plural when creating the title for this flower because multiple plants exist around the world. However, only one has bloomed in several decades and it exists in Britain. It is the rarest flower in Britain and is protected by the police 24 hours of the day. The reason why it is so rigorously guarded is that of its rarity and hence, value. There used to be seven buds that had blossomed but many years ago, a thief cuts one off leaving only 6. Another attempt at uprooting the whole plant itself was foiled, leaving the plant a bit damaged. It has recuperated since to a certain extent. Today the value of a single cutting is 5000 pounds. Even though the value is so high, it is made higher by the fact that it is illegal to possess a cutting of this particular plant in Britain. The irony is that not a single cutting anywhere else has blossomed with the elusive flowers.
5) Youtan Poluo:
Widely recognized as the rarest flowers in the world, these tiny parasites are so small they are often mistaken for lacewing eggs. Found in China, this tiny flower grows mainly on leaves of other plants and feeds on the nutrients provided by the host plant. They are white in appearance and produce a mild sandalwood smell. Being so rare, they hold a lot of cultural significance. But their real importance comes from the time it takes for these flowers to bloom. A shocking three thousand years! They are believed to bloom ever three millennia and are said to be the heralds of a sage king. The last sage king who appeared at the blooming of these flowers was Buddha. Even in India, there is a reference to these flowers that signify the coming of a sage king. In India, however, they are called Udumabara, which means descended from heaven, making it an auspicious flower.
These are five of the most interesting flowers we could find that have influenced human culture over the course of our civilizations. They continue to be major influencers of a human tradition around the world. To learn about other interesting flower species, proceed to understand the properties of medicinal flowers or read about the various ways in which you become a pro at growing flowers of all types.