Let’s walk you through the 10 rarest plants in the world that will captivate your imagination and make you admire the complexity of nature and evolution.
Anything uncommon always attracts. There are some unique plants that have an ethereal and transitory beauty that entices you into submission. However, don’t cave into their charm as some are so lethal that their nectar is capable of stealing your soul.
So, tighten your seatbelts as Duniakagyan walks you through the 10 rarest plants in the world that are living bits of history. They have unusual life cycles, beautiful flowers that are sought after by collectors all over the world, and bizarre adaptations to attract pollinators.
10 Top Rarest Plants in the World
1. Candelabra Tree
The Candelabra tree is a distinctive tropical plant that can grow up to a height of 10-30 feet. Each stem has numerous distinct grooves with rows of thorns. During spring, little clusters of yellow-green blooms complement the vertical ribs of stems. You can plant it in elevated planters and big pots.
The candelabra tree is indigenous to South Africa’s coastal and inland areas, where it flourishes in arid and rocky settings. It matures into sculptural specimen plants that are employed as garden themes in well-drained soils. It can store rainwater from winter precipitation and requires only occasional summertime watering.
2. Oahu Stenogyne
Oahu Stenogyne also referred to as Stenogyne Kanehoana, is a rare flowering plant in the mint category. It is exclusive to Hawaii, where it can be found in Waianae Peak on the island of Oahu. It is a federally protected species in the USA. As such, it has to be one of the 10 rarest plants in the world.
This Hawaiian mint is a fuzzy plant that can grow up to 2 or 3 meters long. Its woolly leaves can grow up to 15 centimeters long and 5 centimeters broad. The plant produces tubular flowers that can grow more than 5 cm long. They are yellowish or pale in color and have purple or pink lips.
3. Middlemist Red
The Middlemist Red (Middlemist camellia) is thought to be the world’s rarest flowering plant, with only two known locations. One is in a garden in New Zealand and the other is in a conservatory in the United Kingdom. The Middlemist Red is of Chinese origin and was introduced to the United Kingdom by John Middlemist in 1804.
Even though the word “red” is in the name, Middlemist’s Red is a rich pink color. It is thought that additional instances of this species have persisted in people’s gardens. They went unnoticed as they were formerly marketed directly to the public by John Middlemist.
4. Encephalartos woodii
Encephalartos woodii is a lovely plant and a rare one at that. Even in young specimens, the leaves are a deep lustrous green, 2–3 m long. They have an elegantly arching form, giving these cycads a dense umbrella-shaped canopy.
Although the Kirstenbosch specimen is unbranched, older samples are frequently clustered at the top. Encephalartos woodii can grow up to 7 meters tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 950 mm at the base and 600 mm at the top.
It was discovered in 1895 on the outskirts of South Africa’s Ngoye Forest by John Medley Wood. He referred to it as “the most handsome of all” Encephalartos.
5. Tahina Palm
This unique plant was discovered in Madagascar by a farmer in 2005. Tahina Palm reaches a height of 18 meters and spreads around 15 meters to its surroundings.
The core reason for it being so famous is, its life! The total lifespan of this plant is 50 years! After blooming, it quickly dies.
In addition, there are only 90 such plants in existence.
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5. Suicide Palm or Tahina Palm
Tahina palm, popularly known as Dimaka, is a species of Tahina Spectabilis. The palm is notable for its stunning end-of-life blooms. It is only found in Madagascar’s Analalava province, where it thrives in seasonally flooded marshlands. Xavier Metz, a Malagasy cashew producer, discovered the variety in 2008.
The Tahina palm has a large trunk that can reach a height of 20 meters. Its canopy of round fan leaves can grow up to 6 meters across. Rings of dead leaves wrap the tree beneath the crown of fresh growth, leaving ring scars on the trunk when they drop off. The species is estimated to live for 40-50 years.
6. Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid
Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid is a huge clear-leafed, rare flower species. It has a long inflorescence with up to 6 big flowers that blossom. It is the only Corypetalum species that holds its petals almost horizontally, giving the bloom a peculiar appearance.
The flower features red and green speckled petals to lure parasitic flies that mistake it for a swarm of the aphids on which they lay eggs. As they attempt to do so, the flies rub against the stigma, shedding any pollen they have previously collected and then obtaining more from the other.
The blossoming season lasts from March to May. It can be found at heights ranging from 600 to 1250 meters above sea level in the jungles surrounding Mount Kinabalu in Northern Borneo.
7. Attenborough’s Pitcher Plant
Nepenthes Attenboroughii, sometimes referred to as Attenborough’s pitcher plant is a predatory pitcher plant of the Nepenthes family. As one of the top 10 rarest plants in the world, it is named after Sir David Attenborough, a well-known broadcaster and environmentalist who is a fan of this species.
The species is distinguished by its enormous, characteristic bell-shaped bottom and upper pitchers, as well as its thin, vertical lid. This plant’s pitchers can grow up to 27 cm long, 15 cm wide, and about 1.6 liters in volume. The pitchers are usually golden bright green, with a reddish-pink bloom. The inside is a speckled purple and scarlet with blotches in between.
8. Western Underground Orchid
Western Underground Orchid, also known as Rhizanthella Gardneri, is a severely endangered orchid species found in Western Australia. Beautiful and strange, it spends its whole life cycle underneath the Earth. The species possesses the least chloroplast genes of any plant, and they aren’t engaged in photosynthesis.
The remaining genes and their roles may bring fresh insights into crucial plant processes. This rare orchid is extremely endangered, with only 50 known wild plants discovered in five Western Australian locales. The orchids’ locations are unknown due to their scarcity.
9. Kadupul Flower
Sri Lanka’s natural blossom, the Kadupul flower, is reputed to be the most expensive flower in the world. Because of its cactus roots, each Kadupul blossom has a very short existence and can only withstand the night before withering to naught by morning. That places it in our list of the top 10 rarest plants in the world.
Despite this, the smell of the Kadupul is just breathtaking with some soothing abilities. The bloom itself has a lovely white and golden tint and develops to a maximum height of 30 cm.
The blossoms of the Kadupul usually begin to bloom between 10 pm and 11 pm, extending the process by 2 hours. Once all the buds have opened, the flowers have a lovely aroma and bloom on full moon days once a month. It’s also known as the Flower from Paradise, the Queen of the Night, and even the Dutchman’s pipe.
10. Quiver Tree
The Quiver Tree is a Southern African tree that can grow up to 10 meters tall. It was previously known as Aloe dichotoma. The tree can be found in relatively dry areas in Namibia and South Africa, where it provides food and shelter to a variety of animals, insects, and birds. In the summer, it has a beautiful look with yellow blossoms.
Climate change is threatening this plant species, which is why it is listed as Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). The quiver tree, also known as Choje by the native San tribe, gets its name from the San practice of thinning out the tubular stems of Aloe dichotoma to construct quivers for their arrows.
This was our list of the top 10 rarest plants in the world. So folks next time you go on a jungle safari in South Africa or explore the Amazon basin of Brazil, you might come across these rare plants. When you do, don’t forget to click and post on your social media page.
There are still many mysteries around such plants as botanists are studying them closely. Many undiscovered plants are yet to be discovered by scientists around the world. Maybe you might have come across such rare plants on one of your treks into the wilderness.
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Question: What makes a plant rare?
Answer: Rare plants can be termed as uncommon plants with their species’ entire population consisting of only a few specimens, or the species is confined to a limited geographical habitat, or both.
Question: What is the newest plant discovered?
Answer: On a secluded slope in Hawaii, botanists discovered a new type of orchid. Cyanea Heluensis is the name of the new plant discovered, which has white, curving blossoms. The plant is very rare and only one of its types has been discovered thus far.
Question: What would happen if all the plants in the world became extinct?
Answer: If all of the living species on earth perished, all of the living creatures on the planet would disappear too. Plants are necessary for the survival of humans and animals, providing them with oxygen to breathe. Mind you, plants are the primary source of oxygen required for survival.
Question: Are there any undiscovered plants?
Answer: Science has yet to discover the majority of the world’s species. As of 2010, biologists had described and categorized 1.7 million flora and fauna, accounting for fewer than one-quarter of the total number of species anticipated on the planet.
Question: Where can a rare plant be taken care of outside its natural habitat?
Answer: Botanical gardens and greenhouses are sites where rare species of plants can be cared for outside of their natural habitat.
Question: How many plants do you need to purify a room?
Answer: Although it is impossible to estimate how many plants are required to filter indoor air, at least 2 decent-sized plants are advised for every 100 square feet of interior area. The larger and more leafy the plant, the better.
Question: Do plants feel pain?
Answer: Plants do not experience pain in the same way as animals do because they lack pain receptors, neurons, and brains. Uprooting a carrot or cutting a hedge is not botanical agony, and you can eat that fruit without fear.
Question: Do plants help with dust?
Answer: Indoor plants are used to help reduce dust levels in offices and residences. Plants have been proven to reduce dust levels in ways that scientists do not understand. In fact, according to NASA research, houseplants can reduce dust concentrations by up to 20%.
Question: Do plants absorb cigarette smoke?
Answer: According to a recent study, plants can absorb nicotine and other poisons from cigarette smoke.
Question: How do plants make the air fresh?
Answer: They turn the carbon dioxide we breathe out into fresh oxygen through photosynthesis, and they may also eliminate contaminants from the air we inhale.