The universal language of flowers crosses any cultural boundaries, interpretations or meanings. These beautiful blooms can convey a wide array of emotions including affection, joy and sorrow. Experts estimate there are somewhere between 223,000 to 422,000 species flowering plants in the world. While the word flower usually connotes beauty and fragrance, it is not always the case. There are as many unattractive and pungent blooms as there are beautiful flowers. This list is comprised of the most unusual blooms in the world.
Hot Lips Plant (Psychotria Elata)
The flowers of this tropical tree found in the rain forests of Central and South American countries, are called Hooker’s Lips or Hot Lips because they resemble pouting red lips. The “lips” are actually bracts that will eventually spread and reveal the real flowers.
Corpse Lily (Rafflesia arnoldii)
The bloom of the Corpse Lily plant is known as the largest individual flower on earth. It also emits a strong odor similar to decaying flesh which is the reason why it earned the nickname “corpse flower.” It is endemic to the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra and officially recognized as a national “rare flower” of Indonesia.
Titan Arum (Amorphophallus Titanum)
Another unusual flower from the rainforests of Sumatra, Titan Arum is known as the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. It also emits a pungent scent akin to rotting flesh just like Rafflesia arnoldii. The plant is cultivated by botanic gardens and private collectors around the world
Monkey Orchid (Dracula simia)
It is not difficult to fathom why these rare orchids from the south-eastern Ecuadorian and Peruvian cloud forests with elevations reaching to 1000 to 2000 meters are named such. The flowers are fragrant with the scent of a ripe orange.
Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia gigantea braziliensis)
Another foul-smelling flower native to Brazil. Despite its horrendous scent, it is a popular ornamental vine.
Banana Flower (Musa acuminata)
The flower of the banana plant is one of the most interesting blooms in the world. While striking with its bright red bracts and dainty elongated flowers, it just wouldn’t look right in a vase.
Black Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)
Hollyhocks come from a genus of about 60 species with flowers in pink, white, purple, or yellow. But one variety, the black hollyhock (Alcea rosea) opted for a deep maroon-black blooms rather than vibrant colored ones. Perhaps, they are the rock stars of the plant world.