Remarkable, Unusual, and Somewhat Bizarre Flowers
You may look weird, but you're still pretty!
Have you ever seen a picture of a strange looking flower, or perhaps came across one in your travels, and thought, what the heck is that! I have, and this is a compilation of pictures and information on some of those beautifully bizarre flowers.
Genus: Passiflora, Family: Passifloraceae
The Passion Flower is also known as the Clock Flower because of the dark clock like "hands" in the center of the flower. There are about 500 different species of the Passiflora, with most of them having a unique structure like the one shown above.
The Passion Flower is rather difficult to pollinate and requires a rather large bee to transfer the pollen. Some of the less unusual flowers of the Passiflora family are easier to pollinate and this can be done by smaller bees, hummingbirds, and even bats. Some species of the Passion Flower are even self-pollenating.
Species of the Passiflora is found all over the world, except Antarctica. Though not originally native to Europe, species of the Passiflora can now be found growing wild there.
One species of the Passiflora, the Passiflora Edulis, is actually the flowering Passion Fruit.
Some species of Passiflora is cold tolerant whose roots can withstand temperatures as low as -20Â° C.
The name of the Passion Flower is not a reference to love, but to the "Passion of the Christ".
Genus: Ophrys, Family: Orchidaceae
This species of the Orchid Family is unique in that it resembles a fly for the purpose of pollination. Not only does it look like a large fly, but it releases an odor similar to the pheromones of the female fly to entice the male fly. The male fly lands and eventually figures out this is not a female fly and leaves, covered in the Orchid's pollen.
The Fly Orchid is native to Southern England and Northern Wales, with a very few spots in Ireland.
Another insect Orchid is the Bee Orchid, which belongs to the same family as the Fly Orchid, and looks like a bee for the same reason. The native areas of these two species of Orchids overlap in certain parts of England, and hybridization of the two Orchids is common here.
Like Vanilla? The Vanilla planifolia plant is an Orchid.
Genus: Mimosa, Family: Fabacae
The Mimosa is native to South and Central America, but is found in many other places in the world. The Mimosa has many nicknames like the Touch-Me-Not, the Tickle Me Plant, and the Sensitive Plant (Pudica means shy). When the leaves of this flower are touched, they fold inward and droop, only to return back to its untouched state within minutes. The Mimosa leaves also fold inward in the evenings and reopen at daybreak.
Genus: Stapelia, Family: Apocynaceae
The Aasblume is a member of the Apocynaceae family which can grow to 16 inches in diameter. Members of the Apocynaceae family are also called Carrion Flowers because of their scent. They smell like rotting meat to attract blow flies for pollination.
The Huernia Flower is also a member of the Apocynaceae family and share the same scent characteristics. The Huernia Flower is typically vividly striped and has a funnel shape. The Apocynaceae flowers are native to Africa, where carrion is common.
The Christmas Rose
Genus: Helleborus, Family: Ranunculaceae
Commonly called the Lenton Rose or Christmas Rose, these flowers are not a member of the Rose family. It got the name Christmas Rose because these flowers are extremely hardy, and some species bloom in winter. There is also an old legend that the Hellebore sprouted in the snow from the tears of a young girl who had no gift to give the Christ child in Bethlehem.
Some species of the Hellebores flowers are green, like the Corsican Hellebore shown here. Many Hellebore Flowers are extremely toxic and were used in ancient times to ward off evil. Some historians believe Alexander the Great died form a Hellebore overdose.
The Hellebore is native to Europe and can be found in concentration in the Balkans.
Thanks to KaCey97007 for the large picture above.
The Dendrobium is a genus of the orchid with over 1200 species. This particular species are found either growing on trees or growing over rocks. Some species of the Dendrobium are only tropical, while others are cold tolerant and can be found in the Himalayan Mountains. Some of the Dendrobium species are highly coveted, and there are many hybrids of the Dendrobium.
Plumeria, also called the Frangipani, is native to the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the Americas, but they have spread to many regions of the world. They are so common in Hawaii, that some think the Plumeria originated there. Related to the Oleander, the Plumeria excretes a poisonous sap.
There are distinct differences to the various species of the Plumeria, with these differences reflected in habitat, color and shape.
Plumeria are most fragrant at night, and do not produce nectar. Because of the fragrant smell, moths are tricked into searching the flowers for nectar, and fly from flower to flower in their futile search, thus pollinating the Plumeria.
Thanks to mad plumerian for the large picture above.
Genus: Lithops, Family: Aizoaceae
The Lithops, same name for the plural and singular flower, are given the nick name living stones or pebble plants because of how they seem to flower out of stones. Native to southern Africa, the name Lithops is Greek for Stone-like. These flowers do not have the typical green stem with green leaves, but seem to spring right out of stone. These plants have either yellow or white flowers, and the leaves are a mottled grey or brown. This camouflages the young flower and protects them from being eaten. There are many different species of the Lithops flower, and the variety depends on the type of rock in the area. The Lithops need well drained soil with very little rainfall to thrive, and some species can survive on only dew formation.
Thanks to Ahmiguel for the large Living Stone photo above.
Have your Flowers and Eat them too!
Do these flowers inspire you?
Learn how to make your own flowers and then eat them!