Scientifically known as Titan Aurum, this is quite a titanic flower. It only blooms about every 7 to 10 years and is hence very rare to find in the wild. It has the biggest occurrence of inflorescence among all flowers. Inflorescence refers to a large grouping of small flowers. They look like one large flower as a whole, but they are not really that large. The central core of the titan arum looks like a part of the flower, but it is actually where all the several little flowers are growing in tandem. The large petal surrounding the phallus is a leaf. Because it takes so long to bloom, it is a sought-after phenomenon. Even right now, there is one blooming at the Missouri Botanical Garden. You can find a live feed on their website if you are able to catch it at the peak of the blooming season of course!
It is a cactus species originating in arid places like Mexico and Central America. The plant is often confused for other species of cacti. It is also known as the “Queen of the Night”. The reason for this isn’t just that it blooms at night, but it blooms only once a year. Not to mention that the flower looks like a Victorian queen with the neck collar and all the grandiose to go with it. In fact, its last name is Grandiflorus, meaning the grand flower. There is a video of a “Queen of the Night” blooming over a period of 12 hours. It is uncanny to watch how the huge flower opens exactly when the sun goes down and even knows when the sun is about to rise again in twelve hours and starts closing in advance to be completely closed by the time its light.
Known as the “Corpse Flower”, this anomaly is quite an interesting flower, if it is that. The reason there is so much confusion as to what it really is because it technically has no stem or leaves or roots. Any of the accompanying structures of a plant are missing, and the biggest flower on earth, if it is, in fact, a flower, grows on the bodies of other plants. In this, it is very similar to algae and has been considered as one by some botanists. Regardless of that debate, we do know that for now, it is a flower and hence belongs on this list. With a bloom without any supporting body parts, and producing the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia arnoldii is certainly spellbinding!
Take a moment to enjoy saying that name first. Purple Saxifrage. The northernmost flower in the world, hordes of this little beauty grows as a layer of green and pink over everything white in the great arctic region. The only plant life growing there, it is a blessing to the few people that live there as it is edible. Eating its leaves gives a bitter taste at first and then quickly turns to sweet. So, it is literally a bittersweet flower. This is true in another sense too, in that it gives a pretty lonely existence. No other flowers grow where it grows, especially in the Arctic, and it cannot grow in warm climates, so it is confined to the coldest climates. It is the first spring flower, and its blooming signifies the beginning of spring. An important flower to several European and Canadian regions.
Considered to be the oldest known flowering plant in the world, this plant was found only a hundred years ago. It is believed to be 130 million years old and was around when the dinosaurs were still stomping around on earth. Its flowers have not bloomed yet, and there is eager anticipation to find out if it will anytime soon.
This odd flower that looks like a wheel-of-fire is quite pleasing to behold. It looks like a giant cartwheel or a pincushion made of fire. Its connection to fire is actually deeper than just its appearance. It is known that this flower grows after there has been a fire. The reason for this is the fact that its natural predators are all small insects which are usually killed in forest fires, making it the perfect time for these plants to bloom. Once the fire subsides the protea pinwheel grows out of seeds that ants did not eat, for its fruit is such that ants love eating it but discard the seeds in their anthills leaving them buried deep underground ready to grow as soon as a fire has died. Such ingenuity!
Bamboo Flower of India:
The reason bamboo is on this list is because of the unique phenomenon is known as bamboo death which occurs in the Mizoram and Manipur states of India every 48 years. This is 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 follow it. When the Bamboo flowers in such a huge area simultaneously shed seeds and pollinate, rats feed on these seeds and grow rapidly as compared to their natural rate of reproduction. How interesting that a bamboo flower that only blooms every 48 years causes a famine?