Rare Flowers That Are Absolutely Beautiful (Including the Rarest Flowers in the World)

Rarest Flowers in the world

The most beautiful rare flowers in the world include the Franklin tree flower, the Fire Lily, Kadupul flower, and Chocolate Cosmos. Rare flowers can be plants that only bloom under specific conditions or are only rarely found growing in the wild. Some rare flowers are close to extinction.

One of the rarest flowers in the world is the Middlemist Red. There are only two locations on the planet where this flower is found—New Zealand and London. This camellia cultivar is not only one of the rarest blooms, but also one of the most beautiful.

Of course, there are many more exotic rare flowers in the world than the five mentioned already. Unusual rare flowering plants can be found in tropical rainforests, growing on the sides of mountains, or protected in botanical gardens. You may even be fortunate enough to grow beautiful and exotic rare flowers in your home or garden.

If you are fascinated to see some of the world’s most rare flowers, read on to find out more. Descriptions, pictures, and scientific names of the rarest flowers will help identify these unique plants.

17 Rare Flowers (With Their Picture and Common Name)

Our list of stunning rare flowers starts with one of the rarest flowers on the planet—the Camellia Middlemist Red.

Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus)

Chocolate cosmos

The chocolate cosmos is a rare flower that doesn’t grow in the wild anymore

The Chocolate Cosmos is among the rare flowers of the world because it no longer grows in the wild. Native to Mexico, this rare plant from the family Asteraceae is difficult to propagate and grow.

What makes this beautiful rare flower so unique? Apart from only a few wild species surviving in the world, the chocolate cosmos flower has stunning dark brown to red petals, just like chocolate. But the chocolate connection doesn’t end there. The distinctive flowers give off chocolatey aromas when they bloom in late summer evenings.

Although this is a rare plant because it no longer grows in the wild, you can buy this plant for summer gardens. You can fill your yard with the aromas of sweet cocoa and enjoy the dark brown rare flowers.

Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii)

ghost orchid

The ghost orchid is a rare exotic flower that needs special conditions to grow

The very rare ghost orchid flower only grows in particular conditions in Central America. The scarce orchid needs high temperatures and high humidity to survive. Also, it only grows where a specific type of fungus grows in cypress swamps.

One of the unique features of this difficult-to-find flower is its lack of leaves. The long roots of the epiphytic plant get nutrients from the other plants it lives on. Unlike other types of flowering orchids, photosynthesis takes place via the roots rather than the leaves.

The ghost orchid has a few white long thin petals with one large wider brilliant white petal. The stunning orchid blooms in spring and summer and can be difficult to spot in the wild.

Destruction of its native habitat means that this beautiful rare flower in on the list of endangered species.

Juliet Rose

juliet rose

The Juliet rose is a rare beautiful flower that took many years to cultivate

The Juliet rose is among the rarest and most expensive flowers in the world. The reason why this rose is so rare and so expensive is that it took 15 years to cultivate. Although tagged as the “£3 million rose,” you can buy bouquets containing Juliet roses for around $120.

The Juliet rose is a type of tea rose with beautiful peach and apricot-colored petals. When the roses bloom, the petals open to reveal a cluster of blooms in the heart of the flower head. So, apart from being one of the rarest flowers, it also ranks among one of the most beautiful flowers in the world.

Middlemist Red (Camellia)

middlemist camelia

The flowers of Camellia ‘Middlemist red’ are one of the rarest in the world

Considered by many to hold the title of the rarest flower in the world, you can only find the Middlemist Red flower in two places in the world—London and New Zealand.

Botanist John Middlemist brought this species from China to London in 1804. The plant is now extinct in Asia and for some time, was thought to have disappeared from London. In 1999, scientists identified the Middlemist Red flower growing among a collection of other rare camellia flowers.

This rare species of flower looks like a dark pink rose with a showy flower head. The beautiful flower sits among lush green foliage that grows on the Middlemist Red camellia.

Night-Blooming Cereus (Selenicereus grandiflorus)

night blooming cereus

Although the night-blooming cereus plant is not rare, its flowers bloom on rare occasion

The night-blooming cereus is on the list of rare flowers because it only produces flowers for one night in the year. Although the plant is not rare, its beautiful white, star-shaped flowers certainly are. If you oversleep, you might miss the rare occasion when it blooms.

Also called ‘queen of the night,’ the night-blooming cereus is a type of flowering cactus. The flowers are not only rare but stunning as well. The white flowers can measure between 6.5” and 8.5” (17 – 22 cm) long and up to 15” (38 cm) wide. On the special times when it flowers, it gives off a sweet vanilla scent.

To bloom, the ‘queen of the night’ needs plenty of sunshine to develop buds. The flower blooms only once a year and the petals will be withered by morning time.

Hawaiian Hibiscus (Hibiscus arnottianus subsp. immaculatus)

Hawaiian hibiscus

From all the Hibiscus species in Hawaii, the ‘immaculatus’ subspecies is the rarest

While hibiscus shrubs are not rare, but you have to travel to the Hawaiian Islands of Oahu and Moloka’i to find these hibiscus flowers. Even then, you only see these flowering shrubs in the wet mountain forest areas.

There are several species of Hawaiian hibiscus, also called koki’o. These plants produce large beautiful flowers, some of which give off a pleasant fragrance. The large tropical flowers can be pink, yellow, orange, or purple.

From all the species, it’s the Hawaiian hibiscus immaculatus species that is the rarest flowering shrub. These native plants are only found in a few places on Moloka’i Island. The rare flowers are so tricky to find that the subspecies is on the endangered list of rare plants.

Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys)

jade vine

Jade vine is an exotic rare plant with turquoise flowers

Due to deforestation, the jade vine is now one of the rarest plants in the world. These flowering vines are native to the tropical forests of the Philippines. Also called emerald or turquoise vines, these plants are a unique type of legume in the family Fabaceae.

The endangered plant produces clusters of jade-colored flowers that are in the shape of claws. When the vines bloom, the flower clusters dangle down like bunches of grapes.

One of the reasons why the flowering vine has become so rare is due to difficulties propagating it. In the wild, bats and birds pollinate the flowers.

Lady’s Slipper Orchid (Cypripedioideae)

Lady’s Slipper Orchid

Lady’s Slipper orchid is a rare subfamily of orchids that includes approximately 165 species

Orchids are among some of the world’s most beautiful flowers, and the Lady’s Slipper orchid is a rare species of orchid. The name of this stunning rare orchid comes from the pouch-like part of the flower.

The rarest type of lady’s slipper orchids is the yellow and purple species. It was assumed that the orchid was extinct in the early 20th Century. However, a single plant was found by mistake growing in England. This orchid is so rare that only a few are growing in the wild.

There are, of course, several types of orchids that are not as rare and are easy to grow at home. However, there is one orchid that is the rarest of them all—the Rothschild’s Slipper orchid.

Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum rothschildianum)

Rothshield's orchid

Rothschild’s Slipper orchid is one of the rarest flowers in the world

Another extremely rare flower is the Rothschild’s slipper orchid. To get a glimpse of this stunning flower, you have to travel to the rainforests of northern Borneo. Even then, this rare orchid only grows in altitudes above 1,640 ft. (500 m).

Apart from being challenging to find, the rareness of this orchid is also due to the fact it can take 15 years to bloom.

What does this unique orchid look like? This type of slipper orchid has long striped yellow and black petals. The petals are unique because two thin ones grow horizontally from the center, which is rare among orchids.

Also called the Gold of Kinabalu orchid, the Rothschild’s slipper orchid is such a rare specimen that a single stem can cost $5,000 on the black market.

Kadupul Flower (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

Kadupul Flower

The Kadupul is a rare flowering cactus with elegant white flowers

The rarity of the Kadupul flower is due to the fact it is a type of night-blooming cactus. This species is not to be confused with the cereus Selenicereus grandifloras which is also a rare-blooming cactus.

One of the beauties of the Kadupul flowering cactus—also called Dutchman’s pipe cactus—is that they are easy to cultivate. So, you can own and grow a rare type of flower as a houseplant.

The Kadupul cactus only flowers rarely and only at night. If you are fortunate enough to see this cactus flower, you will be amazed at its elegant beauty. A large, showy star-shaped white flower emerges during the night and wilts by morning. The flower can measure a massive 12” long (30 cm) and 6.6” (17 cm) wide.

Flame Lily (Gloriosa)

flame lily

The beautiful Flame lilies are becoming rare in some countries

Flame lilies, or fire lilies, are not among the rarest of plants in the world, but they are becoming endangered in some countries.

There are around 12 species in the family Colchicaceae, and they grow in many tropical countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, and Australia. Flame lilies produce showy flowers with distinct trumpet-shaped flowers. Their common name comes from the red and orange-yellow petals that look like flames.

If you have these plants growing in your yard or find them in the wild, remember that they are toxic, and they can cause skin irritation.

White American waterlily (Nymphaea odorata)

white lotus

The white American waterlily is becoming rare in some states of the U.S

The white American waterlily is a beautiful aquatic plant that is becoming rare in some states of the U.S. The stunning feature of these water lilies is the large white flower that floats on a large leaf. Flowers measure up to 12” (30 cm) in diameter and have pure white petals. The overall shape of this aquatic flower is like a star and there are yellow stamens in the center of the flower.

One of the fascinating features of this rare flower is how it opens during the day and closes at night. If you are near a pond where white waterlilies grow, you will enjoy its delightful fragrance and stunning beauty.

Unfortunately, in some states, white waterlilies are on the list of plants “of special concern.”

Gibraltar Campion (Silene tomentosa)

Gibraltar Campion

The Gibraltar Campion is a rare flower with uniquely shaped petals

The Gibraltar Campion is an extremely rare plant that was once thought to be extinct. The only place where you can see the rare delicate flower growing is on the Rock of Gibraltar. Botanists assumed that the plant had died off until some species were found growing in the wild in 1994.

The flower has five white or purple unusually-shaped petals. The woody perennial can grow to about 15” (40 cm) tall and is protected by law.

Franklin Tree Flower (Franklinia)

franklinia alatamaha

Franklin shrubs no longer grow in the wild

The Franklin tree is unique and belongs to the tea family of shrubs Theaceae. Although this sizeable flowering shrub is common in many states, it no longer grows in the wild. All the ornamental plants today come from seeds that were saved in the 1700s. It is thought that the last wild Franklin tree died off in the early 1800s.

So, what does this rare wild plant look like? The Franklin tree flower has white petals that form a cup-like shape. Bright yellow stamens in the center add color to this white and yellow flower. The beautiful pretty flowers give off a sweet honeysuckle-like scent.

This species of plant has been described as a “rare and elegant flowering shrub.”

Parrot’s Beak (Lotus berthelotii)

parrot's beak

The red Parrot’s Beak flowers are rare and have a unique shape

Parrot’s Beak flowers grow on trailing vines and are native to the Canary Islands. These unique flowers are on the list of “exceedingly rare” flowering plants. Efforts are underway to help conserve the rarest flowers on the Spanish islands to save them from extinction.

The unusual feature of parrot’s beak flowering vines is their shape. As the name suggests, the flowers are in the form of a bird’s beak. Other names for these rare flowers are ‘pelican beak’ and ‘coral gems.’ The flowers are a striking orange to red color and measure up to 1” long. They are sickle-shaped and have a distinctive beak shape at the end.

It is possible to buy Lotus berthelotii cultivars that thrive in zones 10 and 11. You can also grow parrot’s beak plants as a tropical houseplant in hanging baskets to have year-long greenery indoors.

Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)

Black bat flower

The Black Bat is an exotic and rare flowering plant grown in parts of Southeast Asia

If you are wondering what the rarest black flower is, then the answer is the Bat flower. This unusual and exotic flowering plant only grows in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia. A reason why this plant is rare is that it is uncommon for plants to have black flowers.

The black bat flower grows well in shady areas where there are hot, humid temperatures. You will notice that the flower resembles the shape of a bat. Measuring up to 12” (30 cm) across, the flower has long whisker-like stamens drooping down. These can measure up to 28” (70 cm) long.

Although you can buy bat flower plants as a houseplant, rarely will they grow well indoors. They need specific conditions to thrive and the average household environment is too dry and cool.

Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum)

corpse flower

The corpse flower rarely comes into bloom and has an offensive odor

The corpse flower would win a competition for the rarest, smelliest, and most unusual plant in the world. The rarity of the corpse flower is since it flowers rarely in the wild and even more seldom when cultivated.

The large flower can grow to around 9 ft. (2.7 m) high—the world record is 10 ft. 2” (3.1 m)—and produce an offensive odor. The stench from these extraordinary flowers is described as rotten flesh or similar to a decomposing corpse.

The flower only ever rarely blooms. A plant will take up to 10 years before it blooms. After that, flowers bloom every 2 to 10 years. So, on the rare occasions when a corpse flower comes into bloom, people flock to botanical gardens to see and smell these rare flowers.

Rafflesia Flower

Rafflesia

Rafflesia is a rare parasitic flowering plan and the national flower of Indonesia. It has the world’s largest bloom and is considered one of the rarest in the world for its large size and offensive smell. Flowers in the genus Rafflesia are huge and reek of decaying rotten meat. Apart from its size and offensive smell, this famous plant is unique in that it has no roots, stems, or leaves.

This rare flower has large red petals with white polka dots and can grow up to 3 ft. (1 m) in diameter. Even small types of these plants can measure 1 ft. (30 cm).

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