Thanks to Shakespeare, it’s most common to compare the beauty of a lover to a flower. Flowers have an ethereal and fleeting beauty incomparable to anything else in the world, the exception being those in the first flush of love. But unfortunately, many rare flowers in the world have already gone extinct in the wild and only exist in some pockets. Thanks to the efforts of botanists and conservationists for it might be available either in select places in the wild or in botanical gardens. The list also includes those flowers that bloom only once every few decades and those that require certain conditions to bloom, making them unique.

There are flowers that are rare because they have been bred a certain way over a period of years like the rarest rose in the world, the Juliet Rose. Anything rare and beautiful always draws crowds, and people travel great distances for a rare sighting of a rare bloom or to catch a glimpse of some unique flowers.

18 Rarest Of The Rare Flowers In The World

1. Juliet Rose – Rarest Rose 

Juliet rose, rare roses

The Juliet Rose is not only considered to be one of the rarest flowers in the world, but it’s also the rarest rose in the world because it took 15 years for rose breeder David Austin to cultivate the flower in England. Additionally, it cost him a whopping $4.3 million to do so. A type of tea rose, the Juliet Rose has peach and apricot-colored petals. In full bloom, they open to reveal smaller blooms at the heart.

Scientific Name: Unknown

Some Interesting Facts:

  • It debuted in the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2006.

2. Ghost Orchid – Florida’s Endangered Flower

uncommon flowers in the world
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Named after the shape of its petals, the Ghost Orchid is listed as one of the most rare exotic flowers of the world because it requires high temperature and high humidity to grow, making it almost impossible to cultivate outside its natural habitat. The plant has no leaves, does not depend on photosynthesis, and does not manufacture its own food. It has to be linked with another plant to get sufficient energy. The stem and flowers appear green in color with whitish petals. Ghost Orchids are found in Cuba, Florida and the Bahamas, and bloom only for three weeks between April and August. Even if you get close enough to the flower, you may not be able to spot a Ghost Orchid. The fact that most of its natural habitat is getting destroyed makes the Ghost Orchid even rarer.

Scientific Name: Dendrophylax Lindenii

Some Interesting Facts:

  • The ghost orchid is a rare flower that gives off a soap-like odor when in bloom.

3. Fire Lily – Zimbabwe’s National Flower

Fire lilies, rare flowers in the world

While the Fire Lily, also known as the Flame Lily, is not that rare a flower, it’s quickly becoming endangered in some countries. The Fire Lily is a distinct trumpet-shaped flower with red and orange-yellow colored petals, making it look like flames. These interesting tropical rare flowers are native to Asia and tropical parts of Africa. It’s now rare in Sri Lanka and close to extinction in Odisha, making it a very rare flower in India. It’s also considered an invasive species in countries like Australia, the Cook Islands, and French Polynesia. While these flowers are found in the wild, they are also known to pop up in people’s yards.

Scientific Name: Gloriosa Superba

Some Interesting Facts:

  • It is toxic to humans and can also cause skin irritation.
  • It can grow up to 12 feet tall.
  • It’s used for medicinal purposes.

Book Now: A Trip To The Valley of Flowers – UNESCO World Heritage Site, Uttarakhand

4. Chocolate Cosmos – Flower That Smells Like Fresh Chocolate

Chocolate Cosmos, rare flowers in the world

The Chocolate Cosmos has earned its place on the list of rarest flowers of the world as it has been extinct in the wild for years. As one of the most beautiful rare flowers in the world, the Chocolate Cosmos is rich reddish-brown in color and gives off a rich chocolate fragrance when it blooms, hence its name. It grows to about 40 to 70 centimeters in height. This red flower is native to Mexico, however as mentioned before, they no longer exist in the wild. The beautiful flower does not produce any seeds and needs to be grown with the help of tissue culture or root division. Technically, only clones of the original flower survive today.

Scientific Name: Cosmos Atrosanguineus

Some Interesting Facts:

  • The Chocolate Cosmos blooms in the evening at the end of summer.
  • It’s been reproduced through propagation since 1902.
  • Areas where these uncommon flowers grow are protected by law.

Also read: 11 beautiful places to see flowers in spring

5. Kadupul Flower – Queen Of The Night

Queen of the night, Kadupul flowers

The Kadupul Flower is a cactus blossom that rarely blooms, and is therefore considered as one of the interesting flowers in the world. They are large, beautiful, snowy white and star-shaped flower that blooms only at night and withers away by daybreak. It grows mainly in the wild among decaying matter around trees, and can measure a massive 30 centimeters long and 17 centimeters wide. It also emits a pleasant smell. While some report that this flower grows only in Sri Lanka, others say that the Kadupul Flower can also be found in India, Japan, China and several Latin American countries.

It is, however, close to impossible to find one in the wild, as it blooms rarely and only at night, so spotting it is difficult. It’s said to be very beautiful and a truly rare flower to behold, making it a unique flower in India and other regions. These cool flowers require specific conditions to grow in and are very expensive owing to their short lifespan. However, they are easy to cultivate.

Scientific Name: Epiphyllum Oxypetalum

Some Interesting Facts:

  • The Kadupul flower has a history with Japan where it is known as Gekka Bijin or “beauty under the moon”.

6. Corpse Flower – Flower With The Foulest Smell

Foul smelling corpse flower
The blossom of the titan arum

The Corpse Flower is known as one of the rare flowers in the world because it blooms just once in a few decades. As it can reach up to 3.6 meters in height, it’s also known as one of the largest flowers in the world. This flower has no roots, leaves or even a stem. Moreover, it seems to have only one petal, which is green on the outside and burgundy red on the inside and is shaped like a cone. When the corpse flower is in bloom it emits a foul odor, similar to that of rotting flesh or rotten meat, to attract flies and carrion beetles. Corpse Flowers are found only in the low-lying rainforests of Indonesia. In captivity, they grow mainly in Sumatra gardens in Sumatra.

Scientific Name: Titan Arum

Some Interesting Facts:

  • Technically, a corpse flower isn’t really a single flower, it’s a flowering plant with clusters of blooms.

7. Jade Vine – Member Of The Pea And Bean Family

Jade vine, rare flowers in the world

The Jade Vine is considered one of the most unique flowers in the world because deforestation has driven it close to extinction. The Jade Vine is a claw-shaped flower and can grow up to 3 meters long. It varies in color from blue to light green and hangs facing downward. A member of the pea and bean family, the Jade Vine is native to rainforests in the Philippines. These flowers are quickly moving towards extinction as they are difficult to propagate in captivity. They rely primarily on bats for pollination.

Scientific Name: Strongylodon Macrobotrys

Some Interesting Facts:

  • They reportedly have a luminous quality at twilight.

8. Middlemist’s Red – Rarest Flower On Earth

Middlemist's red flower
Image source: Pinterest

The Middlemist Red is one of the rarest and most beautiful flowers in the world; so much so, that only two of its samples exist today. The flower was evidently wiped out of existence in its native China sometime after it was brought to the United Kingdom. While there is no concrete explanation for why the plant went extinct in the wild, it is believed that over-cultivation might have had a key role.

The Middlemist Red is a beautiful flower that looks like a rose and is bright pink (contrary to what the name suggests). Although it looks like a rose, the Middlemist’s red is actually a type of Camellia flower. A native of China, it was brought to London in 1804. It’s now extinct in China, and only two known remaining Middlemist Red flowers are growing in captivity—one in a botanical garden in New Zealand and the other in a greenhouse in England.

Scientific Name: Middlemist Camellia

Some Interesting Facts:

  • The red camellia flower was brought to England by a botanist named John Middlemist, giving it its name.
  • John Middlemist had sold quite a few of these beauties to the public when he first introduced them in the United Kingdom. So, there might be more of the Middlemist’s Red in gardens, unbeknownst to others.

9. Franklin Tree Flower – Only Species Of The Franklinia Genus

beautiful rare flowers in white
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The Franklin Tree Flower is listed among the rare flowers in the world as it has been extinct in the wild since the early 1800s. It’s a beautiful five-petalled white flower with clusters of golden yellow stamens in the center. This cup-shaped flower belongs to the tea family and is one-of-a-kind as it is the only of the Franklinia genus. The plant has dark green leaves which turn red in autumn. The flowers give off a sweet honeysuckle-like scent. Native to the Altamaha River valley in Georgia, a southeastern US state, this flower no longer grows in the wild. However, it is a popular garden plant and is speculated that the plant went extinct in the wild due to a fungal disease.

Scientific Name: Franklinia Alatamaha

Some Interesting Facts:

  • All the Franklin Tree Flowers in existence today, come from the seeds that were collected in the 1700s.
  • It was first discovered in 1765.

10. Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid – Gold Of Kinabalu

Rothschild's Slipper Orchid
Image source: Flickr

The Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid is considered one of the rarest flowers in the world as it is very difficult to find, given that it not only grows at altitudes above 1,640 feet, it also takes 15 years to bloom. It’s so rare that it’s now worth thousands of dollars on the black market. The Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid is one of the five types of Slipper Orchids (the name comes from the lower lip of the flower that resembles a slipper), which again is a sub-category of the orchid family. It has long yellow and black or reddish-striped petals. What makes the Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid a unique flower among the orchid family is that two thin petals grow horizontally from the center.

Native to the Borneo Island in Malaysia, the Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid can only grow in the rainforests of Mount Kinabalu. It grows between altitudes of 1,640 and 3,930 feet above sea level. You can see these flowers in a fenced-off area of the Kinabalu National Park in April and May, which is its flowering season.

Scientific Name: Paphiopedilum Rothschildianum

Some Interesting Facts:

  • One stem is worth up to $5,000 on the black market.

11. Parrot’s Beak – Winner Of The Garden Merit Award

Parrot's beak flower, rare flowers in the world

The Parrot’s Beak Flower is rare because it requires specific temperatures to bloom in; any fluctuation causes it to wither. It’s also believed to be extinct in the wild, much like most of the flowers on this list. Only a few members of this species of flower exist today; many might go extinct in the wild soon, making it one of the rarest flowers in the world. It is reported that the flower began to disappear (from the wild) in 1884.

Parrot’s Beaks are claw-shaped flowers that grow on trailing vines and are found in striking orange and red colors. They are known to measure up to one inch long. They resemble a parrot’s beak, hence the name. Native to the Canary and Cape Verde Islands, these flowers are believed to be extinct in the wild but they can be cultivated in gardens, as well as indoors. These days they are typically grown for ornamental purposes. The Parrot’s Beak blooms best in spring and requires a lot of sunshine (it may not bloom, or fewer flowers will bloom if grown in the shade) and cool temperatures. It also requires well-drained but moist soil as the roots can rot if not properly drained.

Scientific Name: Lotus Berthelotii

Some Interesting Facts:

  • It won the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • It’s also known as Coral Gem, Pelican’s Beak, Cat Claw, Lotus Vine, and Pigeon Beak.

12. Koki’o – Lovely Island Hibiscus

Rare island hibiscus, Koki'o

The Koki’o, especially its immaculatus species, is a rare breed as it’s only found in certain wet mountainous forest areas. Add to that, it’s incredibly tricky to find, landing it on the list of rare flowers in the world. The Hibiscus arnottianus subspecies immaculatus has large beautiful white flowers, measuring 10.16 centimeters in diameter that give off a pleasant fragrance. The plant is a shrub that grows up to 457 centimeters to 609 centimeters tall. While the Hibiscus arnottianus or the Koki’o is found on the Oahu and Moloka’i islands of Hawaii, the Hibiscus arnottianus subspecies immaculatus is only found on the Moloka’i Island.

Scientific Name: Hibiscus Arnottianus

Some Interesting Facts:

  • These flowers are easy to grow from fresh seeds but hybridise easily, causing the seedlings to differ from their parents.

13. Black Bat Flower – Rarest Black Flower

Black bat flowers

The Black Bat Flower is the most unique flower in the world because it has the rarest flower color, black. Measuring up to 30 centimeters in diameter, the flower resembles a bat, which is how it got its name. It has long droopy whisker-like stamens, which can measure up to 70 centimeters long. The Black Bat Flower is found in Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, and southern China. The plant needs a lot of humidity and a large amount of water until it grows properly, which makes it a difficult plant to grow indoors. It is possible to make it a houseplant, but the average household environment is too dry and cool for it to thrive.

Scientific Name: Tacca Chantrieri

Some Interesting Facts:

  • It is a member of the Yam family.
  • It has a recently discovered relative known as the White Bat Flower.
  • There is a superstition that the evil eye will start following you if you look at these bat-shaped flowers for too long.

14. Gibraltar Campion – Pride Of Britain

Gibraltar Campion, a rare flower
Image source: Wikimedia commons

This species of rare and beautiful flower is only found in Gibraltar and was thought to be extinct in the wild. However, these beautiful flowers were found in the British Overseas Territory’s Upper Rock Nature Preserve in 1994. Since then, the Campions are artificially grown at the Almeda Gibraltar Botanic Gardens and in the Royal Botanic Gardens of London.

Scientific Name: Silene Tomentosa

Some Interesting Facts:

  • The flowers on this plant range in color from violet to bright pink.
  • This mid-scented flower is protected under the Nature Protection Act of 1991 by the Law of Gibraltar.
  • The Gibraltar Campion plant is capable to grow about 40 cm.

15. Youtan Poluo – Blooms Every 3,000 Years

most uncommon flowers in the world
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Native to China and Taiwan, Youtan Poluo is a parasitic tiny flower which was actually found growing in Viet Linh on an aroid palm leaf. These rare white flowers don’t have a scientific name and are said to bloom once every 3,000 years. Measuring no more than 1 millimeter in diameter, Youtan Poluo is commonly known as Udumbara. The flowers were mentioned in Buddhist scriptures and in 2010, were discovered in the home of a nun in Lushan Mountain in China’s Jiangxi province.

Scientific Name: Unknown

Some Interesting Facts:

  • This rare flower emits a mild yet noticeable sandalwood-like fragrance.
  • According to the Buddhist scriptures, these flowers symbolize immortality. 
  • The looking of the Youtan Poluo flower is believed to mark the arrival of a future king or the reincarnation of the Buddha.
  • The word ‘Udumabara’ in Sanskrit means, auspicious flowers descending from heaven.

16. Cube-Shaped Pseudolithos – Cube Shaped But Not A Cube

A flower that looks like a stone cube
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As the name suggests, Pseudolithos Cubiformis is a species of succulent plant that grows into a nearly perfect shape like a cube. The stone like succulent grows from a single stem and are always leafless. However it has flowers in red, yellow, or green color. Though they look like an indoor plant, Cube-Shaped Pseudolithos are treated as outdoor plants as they can easily rot indoors.

Scientific Name: Pseudolithos Cubiformis

Some Interesting Facts:

  • It’s asingle stem plant that can grow up tofive inches tall.
  • This species of plant is native to Somalia.

17. Vulsa – Rarest Brugmansia Variety

orangey-pink blossoms throughout the year
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Vulsa also known as Brugmansia Vulcanicola is the rarest Brugmansia variety of flower which was first discovered in the mountains of Colombia. This rare flower is very hard to get your hands on as it’s generally found in the mountains. In the mountains because the plant grows well in cool temperatures and isn’t suitable for hot climates. It makes orangey-pink blossoms appear in waves through most of the year with each flower lasting for only one week.

Scientific Name: Brugmansia Vulcanicola

Some Interesting Facts:

  • Vulsa plants cannot tolerate an excessively hot climate.
  • The orange flowers hangs upside down from its green stem.

18. Purple Passionflower – The Christian Crucifixion Story

The rare Passionflower is a native to the Southeastern United States
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The Passionflower is a native to the Southeastern United States and is distributed from Florida to Texas. The wild purple flowers known for their exotic appeal blooms for only a day. When the Purple Passion-flowers are left to mature, the flowers transform into juicy and sweet passion fruit. It’s believed that the ten petals of the flower represents the Christian crucifixion story, hence the name passion flower.

Scientific Name: Passiflora Incarnata

Some Interesting Facts:

  • It is the state flower of Tennessee.
  • Some passion fruits are eaten as delicate dessert fruits.

Also Read: 8 strange plants from around the world and where to find them

Final Thoughts

Almost all of the flowers listed above are either extinct in the wild or in the process of being driven to extinction. By letting such beautiful and unique flowers die, we are not only depriving the future generation of witnessing their beauty and mystique, but we are also doing irreparable damage to the ecology and environment. While a few may be protected by law, most aren’t. However, not all hope is lost. By promoting awareness about these rare and beautiful flowers, we can put in care and work towards saving them from further and more permanent extinction.

FAQs About Rare Flowers

What makes a flower rare?

Rare flowers can be those that only bloom under specific conditions or found at specific destinations under the right ecological conditions or are only rarely found growing in the wild.

What is the rarest flower in the world?

The Middlemist Red is the rarest flower in the world. Only two known examples of this flower are found in London and New Zealand.

Do blue and black roses really exist in nature?

No, there are no blue and black roses in nature. The color blue is not in the gene pool of roses, therefore naturally or in the cross-breeding process it would be impossible to get a blue rose. The blues and blacks that you see are either created by genetic modification or are painted or dyed blue.


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