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They can be found on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Thailand and the Philippines in Southeast Asia. They are the world's largest single flower. The flowers of one species can grow to be over a meter (three feet) long. Flies are drawn to the flowers because they smell like dead animals, and they usually lay their eggs on rotten flesh. When the flies get inside, they pollinate the Rafflesia. 1)

Encephalartos Woodii

The Encephalartos Woodii, one of the world's rarest plants, is now conserved and confined to the botanical garden where it was transported from Zululand. This plant is native to South Africa and is thought to be extinct in the wild, with all specimens being clones. Its cycad variety had both male and female plants, but no female plants are to be found. As a result, there will be no more propagation, and the male plant will be preserved. 2)

Nepenthes Tenax

The Nepenthes Tenax, which is considered one of the world's uncommon plants, is one of the oddest-looking plants. This plant, which has many similarities with the pitcher plant, can reach a height of 100 cm and has a pitcher-shaped flower on top that grows to a height of 15 cm. This is a very rare Australian lowland plant that can only be found in northern Queensland. 3)


One of the world's longest-living plants, also known as the living fossil plant, is also one of Africa's rarest plant species. The trunk of this strange-looking plant is woody, dense, short and stout. This plant has a slow growth rate and is thought to live on Earth for 1000 to 2000 years. 4)

Ghost Orchid

This strange-looking plant has the appearance of tiny ghosts hanging from its bushes. This orchid lacks leaves and has an apple smell, similar to other orchids. It has pale blossoms and thin stems and is one of the world's rarest orchid plants. It's in the farthest reaches of Florida and Cuba. 5)

Monkey orchid

Dracula simia, also known as monkey orchid is found from Mexico to southern Brazil at altitudes over 900 meters. It gets its name from its flowers, which resemble a monkey's face. Dracula simia blooms all year round and its flowers smell like ripe oranges. 6)

Hydnora africana

The parasitic Hydnora africana is found throughout southern and tropical Africa, Madagascar, and the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. Hydnora africana usually parasitizes acacia trees and the roots of plants belonging to the wolfberry family. Hydnora grows underground and puts out its intensely fragrant flower outdoors. Its odor is similar to that of rotten meat, thus attracting flies and beetles. When the insects reach the flower, they are trapped so that they can pollinate the plant in peace. Once the process is complete, the flower opens and releases the insect. 7)

Dracunculus vulgaris

Dracunculus vulgaris, or dragon lily, is a plant found in the Balkans, Aegean Islands, USA, Greece, Crete, and southwestern Turkey. The plant is characterized by its height and its impressive flower, consisting of a dark, black flask surrounded by a purple petal. The flask is formed by clusters of berries, of which there are 60 to 80. The carrion smell emitted by the flower repels all kinds of rodents but attracts the flies that pollinate it. They fly into the inflorescence at night, pollinate it and only fly out the next day. Dragon lily is poisonous to vertebrates because indole (a chemical compound) is present in its flowers, and in addition, its roots cause skin irritation in humans. The seeds, however, contain a large amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. 8)

Amorphophallus titanium

Amorphophallus titanium was discovered in Sumatra (first described in 1878). The natural habitat in which it occurs is the rocks surrounding mountain streams. The plant produces a tuber weighing from 30 to 120 kilograms. From it grows a large, cream-colored flask, surrounded by a colorful calyx. Amorphophallus titanum always blooms under the cover of night, and the opening of the calyx is associated with the maturity of the female flowers to pollinate them. This is when it gives off a very distinctive smell, which is associated with the smell of decaying carrion - this is to attract insects that will pollinate the plant. The plant flowers for the first time about 10 years after the cob takes root, and may not flower again until 3 or even 6 years later. The plant flowers rarely in the wild, and even more rarely in cultivation. While we are on the subject of breeding, it is worth mentioning that there is a variety originating from East Asia (Amorphophallus Riviera) that grows up to 1.5 m tall and is suitable for pots. 9)

Wollemia Nobilis

The Wollemia Nobilis is called a living fossil because it can live up to 1,000 years. The discovery of wollemia considered an extinct species has been compared to as if dinosaurs suddenly returned to Earth! Wollemia grows up to 40 meters tall and has needles and cones. The plant has been listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is there as a critically endangered species and is therefore under legal protection. 10)

Hammer orchid

Dracaea glyptodon is a genus of orchid that was first described in 1882 in The Gardeners' Chronicle magazine. The plant is also commonly known as Hammer Orchid and is native to Western Australia. By emitting a peculiar odor of rotten flesh, it attracts male Thynida wasps, which stick to the sticky plant. The wasps then detach themselves, taking the pollen with them, which they transfer to other plants, thus leading to their pollination. This orchid has an underground tuber and a single, truncated leaf shaped like a heart. Many people call it “the ugliest among orchids”. 11)

Anguloa uniflora

A native of the Colombian Andes, Anguloa uniflora was discovered in the late 18th century. The most unusual feature of this orchid is the flowers, which at one stage resemble a baby wrapped in diapers. Their scent attracts insects that pollinate the plant. Anguloa uniflora occurs naturally at altitudes between 1400 and 2500 meters. 12)


Gympie-gympie (Dendrocnide moroides) is a plant in the nettle family that is native to Australia and is extremely dangerous due to its scalding properties. The entire surface of the shrub is covered with hairs that burn, causing severe pain comparable to being doused in caustic acid (so severe that it can last for months!). Moreover, you do not have to touch the plant to get burned - it is enough to stay a little longer near the plant to get irritation of the respiratory tract. Some species of animals living in Australia are resistant to the plant's stingers and it can even be their food. 13)


Could one of the world's strangest plants be a stone? Lithos in Greek means “stone-like” and this name works very well for this plant. Lithops naturally occurs in the sandy areas of South Africa. The small pebble-like plant was discovered by accident in 1811 - William John Burchell found it thinking it was a stone. When he tried to pick it up, he discovered to his surprise that it was a plant. Lithops are naked and have no stem. Moreover, they grow in pairs and resemble a stone. The flowers are large with yellow or white petals and grow out of a gap between the crevices. 14)

Mimosa pudica

Mimosa pudica is a plant that in its natural habitat occurs as a weed (although it is also grown as an ornamental plant) throughout the intertropical zone. Its characteristic feature is that it is extremely sensitive to touch, and to changes in temperature. When touched, the plant curls its leaves in a very short time. The leaves fold upward and contact each other with their upper surfaces, and the petiole hangs inertly. After the stimulus has ceased, they return to their initial state after about 20 minutes. 15)

rarest_plants.txt · Last modified: 2022/04/27 04:26 by aga