When it comes to our beloved green spaces around the world, they just wouldn’t be the same without wildflowers – flowers that help to naturally add a much needed injection of color into a landscape, and serve a much larger ecological purpose.
While there are many common wildflowers that most people will be familiar with, there are many more that are rarer and more elusive.
But this begs the question: what are some of the most beautiful wildflowers, where can they be found, and what makes them so special?
Rare Wildflowers: Our Top 10 Picks
When it comes to choosing the best wildflowers – especially those that you may not have heard of – there are many things that can be taken into account, including color, location, shape, ecological factors, and much more.
While there are countless species of wildflowers to choose from out there in the world, there are some that are just a little more special, beautiful, and downright iconic than others.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at our top picks!
1. Titan Arum
The first wildflower on our list is potentially one of the strangest. Also known as amorphophallus titanum and the corpse flower, titan arum is one of the largest forms of wildflowers in the world – reaching heights of 12 feet in some cases.
Known for its distinctive size, purple coloring, and protruding, colossal spadix, the titan arum can be found only in the equatorial rainforests of Sumatra (Indonesia), and unfortunately has an endangered status due to the limited dispersal around the world, and a very rare blooming process that usually only happens once every 7 to 10 years.
That being said, these are possible to grow at home, and the only real requirement is that you have a massive greenhouse (both height and width) to accommodate the enormous size of this mysterious rainforest plant.
2. Youtan Poluo
From one of the largest wildflowers in the world, to one of the smallest, the next on our list is youtan poluo – a variety of small, white wildflowers located throughout Australia and tropical Asia.
One thing that makes this plant so unusual is that it actually doesn’t have a definite scientific name – due to the fact that it is so elusive and rare.
After all, the flowers on the plant only measure in at roughly 1 mm across, meaning you could just as easily step on it while hiking through the wilderness – or miss it completely without the right care, knowledge, and (of course) eyesight.
Very little is known about this flower, and there are a lot of rumors circulating in botanical circles as to the specifics of its growing cycle – with some even claiming that it blooms once every 3000 years!
However, one thing they can all agree on with this wildflower is that it is a beautiful, otherworldly plant with much to teach us about the extremes of wildflower development.
3. Western Underground Orchid
Also known as Rhizanthella Gardneri, the Western Underground Orchid is incredibly rare, unbelievably strange, and somewhat goes against the laws of nature as we know them.
As its name suggests, the western underground orchid grows (yep, you’ve guessed it) underground – making it one of the few flowering plants in the world that does not outright require the presence of sunlight to flourish and thrive.
Technically classified as a leafless herb, it does produce a beautiful purple/red flower, which in itself is strange when you consider its lack of sunlight.
However, the plant is also nearing extinction – something that is most likely due to the unknowing destruction of its natural habitat in rural Australia, which was used to make arable land for farming.
4. Jade Vine
Next on our list we have the jade vine – one of the most beautiful, ethereal, and downright surreal plants on this list.
Characterized by its ghostlike, turquoise petals – each of which are curved upwards like claws – the jade vine can be found in the jungles of the Philippines, where it has the potential to grow up to 18 feet tall.
While incredibly rare – due to the destruction of its natural habitat – you can actually grow the flowers at home, and the only real requirement is having a large enough greenhouse to house this elusive, vibrant, and downright enchanting giant.
5. Gibraltar Campion
As the name suggests, this wildflower is native to the island of Gibraltar – a small British-controlled island located off the coast of Spain with very small dimensions for growing.
As such, the Gibraltar campion is exceptionally rare, and what natural space it did have was taken up by the various developments on the island.
However, the flowers are available to get hold of, meaning that you too can plant them at home with the right combination of environment, heat, light, and feeding.
Perhaps the thing that is most fascinating about this flower however, is that it was actually thought to be extinct until 1992, when it was unwittingly discovered on the island – and ever since then it has remained a popular plant for botanists and gardeners alike.
6. Shenzhen Nongke Orchid
Perhaps the most unusual wildflower on this list, the shenzhen nongke orchid is a rare yet exceptionally famous flower found throughout China – where it remains especially popular and revered.
While not native to China, the shenzhen nongke orchid has distinct national esteem within the country, where it is bought and sold for large sums of money due to its association with class and high society, as well as its rarity – that only sees it bloom once every 3-4 years.
Famed for its pink, white, and yellow leaves – which arrange themselves in unique and attractive patterns that are not too dissimilar in appearance from a Rorschach inkblot test – this orchid is an eye-catching plant loved by many throughout the world.
7. Gold Of Kinabalu
Also known as the ‘Rothchild’s slipper orchid’, the gold of Kinabalu is an unusual, and somewhat alien-looking wildflower found throughout Borneo and Malaysia – where it has become a much sought after item on the black market, with plants fetching up to $5000 dollars in some cases.
This is due to the fact that they are so rare – not to mention close to extinction – with only 50 plants thought to still be existing on the planet.
This has made the wildflower something of a status symbol amongst collectors – allowing those with the means and the inclination to purchase it through various means and add it to their personal collections (albeit for a high price).
8. Dutchman’s Pipe
Found throughout India and Sri Lanka, Dutchman’s pipe is an attractive and eye-catching wildflower – and one that is actually considered to be a form of cactus flower.
While it was once considered endangered due to overpopulation, deforestation, and a rapidly shrinking habitat, concerted efforts from botanists and local governments have ensured that it is now considered ‘unconcerning’ by scientists, and its population has once again thrived in the wild.
Characterized by its jagged, star-shaped petals, and its distinct ice-white coloring, Dutchman’s pipe is a success story amongst rare wildflowers, and shows how even the most doomed cases can be rectified.
9. Parrot’s Beak
Found throughout the Canary Islands – albeit in short supply due to dwindling population numbers and a worsening endangerment status – parrot’s beak takes its name from its distinctive shape and orange/red coloring, which are renowned for resembling this part of the parrot’s anatomy.
Growing in large groups, and with vibrant, eye-catching coloring, parrot’s beak is a much-loved and cherished plant throughout the Canary Islands, and one that experts are working carefully to protect.
10. Sea Daffodil
Last but not least, we have the sea daffodil – a popular wildflower that can be found throughout the beaches of the Mediterranean, and one that is characterized by its white jagged petals, and its unusual home in the warm sands.
While rare in modern times, due to tourists destroying its natural habitats, the flower is still persevering in some regions, where legal restrictions have been put in place to stop people from even touching them.
However, they are still able to be grown at home – albeit only if you live in warm climes, and beside the sea, as the flower will not grow inland.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about wildflowers, and the most beautiful, rare flowers that can be found all around the world.
It is true that, without wildflowers, our favorite green spaces just wouldn’t be the same – offering much needed jolts of color to otherwise boring scenery.
Luckily though, with the ample resources available to us in modern times, it has never been easier to track them down, research them, or indeed find them to grow at home.
So if you are interested in learning more about wildflowers, then be sure to check out this handy guide. Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!