The world offers a vast range of flora, each with unique features. Among the flowers in the world, here are ten rare flowers to see before they go extinct!
According to research, there are about 374,000 known, described, and accepted plant species, with 295,383 flowering plants. With such a vast range of flowers, it’s not surprising to learn that rare flowers exist.
A flower is rare if you can only find it in a specific area, blooms under specific conditions, or hardly grows in the wild. Unfortunately, the flowers on the list are currently endangered, making it more difficult to see them in person.
If you want to explore these species, check out our list of some of the rarest flowers before they go extinct.
Rare and Endangered Flowers You Must See
Check out these rare flower species and see if one is near your area.
Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii)
NC Orchid from North Carolina, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ghost Orchids (Dendrophylax lindenii), also called white frog orchids, are leafless epiphytes that attach to trees. Its large bottom petal has two curving tendrils that look like a ghost, hence the name. In the morning, these flowers bloom one by one and produce a strong apple-like or soap-like smell.
Aside from its unique look and fragrance, it’s a rare orchid since it only thrives in high temperatures and humidity, specifically in swamps in Cuba and Florida. Also, they’re difficult to cultivate, making them an endangered species.
Gibraltar Campion (Silene tomentosa)
Bart Van Thienen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Gibraltar Campion (Silene tomentosa) comprises pale white, pink, or purple flowers with five bilobed petals that can grow around 15 inches (40 cm). It’s a critically endangered plant that used to be extinct in 1992, but got rediscovered in 1994.
These flowers are only endemic in Gibraltar, specifically on the outcrops of the Rock of Gibraltar. Fortunately, the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens holds specimens to cultivate these species and keep them alive.
Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys)
Hoya bicknellii, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) boasts a vibrant and stunning jade or turquoise color and claw-shaped blooms. This liana vine can grow up to 60 feet long and contain up to 75 individual flowers.
Jade vines are native to the Philippines and reside in the river banks or ravines of forests. Unfortunately, they are also endangered because of deforestation. It’s also challenging to propagate these species—bats and birds are the only ones that can pollinate them.
Cayman Sage (Salvia caymanensis)
Scott Zona, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Cayman sage (Salvia caymanensis) is a short-lived perennial endemic to Grand Cayman, the largest island in the Cayman Islands. It grows between 20 to 39 inches (50 to 100 cm) tall with an erect stem and ovate-lanceolate leaves. The leave’s underside is tomentose and pale, while its upper side is pilose and dark green.
This flower was extinct from 1967 to 2007, but a campaign offering 1,000 Cayman Island dollars helped rediscover this species.
Fire Lily (Gloriosa Superba)
Photo by Miltos Gikas, via Flickr
The fire lily (Gloriosa superba), also known as the flame lily, tiger claw, and glory lily, produces red or orange flowers with yellow edges and six yellow stamens at the bottom.
These perennials are native to tropical places in Asia and Southern Africa and come from the Colchiaceae or autumn-crocus family. They’re also Zimbabwe’s national flower.
Although fire lilies are not as rare as some flowers on this list, they’ve become endangered in some areas.
Hawaiian Hibiscus (Hibiscus arnottianus subsp. immaculatus)
David Eickhoff from Pearl City, Hawaii, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Hawaiian hibiscus (Hibiscus arnottianus subsp. immaculatus), also called koki’o, is a shrub or small tree that produces huge and fragrant tropical flowers with white petals and a protruding white, pink, or red staminal column.
Although hibiscus is common, the Hawaiian Hibiscus is the rarest among hibiscus species since it’s endemic to Moloka’i and Oahu in Hawaii. Also, they only thrive in moist mountain forests.
Hot Lips (Palicourea elata)
Photo by Andreas Kay, via Flickr
Hot lips (Palicourea elata, formerly Psychotria elata), also referred to as girlfriend’s kiss, hooker’s lips, or labios de puta, got its name from its distinct red bracts that look like lips. Although the red bracts are eye-catching, the actual flower lies between them.
Unfortunately, this species is becoming endangered because of deforestation and over-harvesting, since it’s a popular plant during Valentine’s Day. Also, it’s extremely sensitive and only thrives in specific climates like tropical rainforests in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Panama.
Marin Dwarf Flax (Hesperolinon congestum)
Photo by Tom Hilton, via Flickr
The Marin dwarf flax (Hesperolinon congestum) is an annual herb that sports thin stems and five rose or whitish petals. It grows four to eight inches tall and blooms from May to July.
You can spot this species in serpentine bluffs and grasslands in California. Specifically, you can see them in Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo. However, they are also endangered, with less than 20 sites having Marin Dwarf Flax.
Dwarf Trout Lily (Erythronium propullans)
Sam Wilson, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The dwarf trout lily (Erythronium propullans) is a vascular plant found in Minnesota, specifically in Goodhue, Rice, and Steele counties.
It resembles the white trout lily (Erythronium albidum). However, it has smaller pinkish flowers, three to five tepals, smaller fruits nodding down, and offshoots from the stem above the bulb.
They have become endangered because of their slow reproduction, the area’s urban development, and tourists. Fortunately, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 protects this species.
Parrot’s Beak (Lotus berthelotii)
John Rusk from Berkeley, CA, United States of America, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The parrot’s beak (Lotus berthelotii), also known as lotus vine flower, pelican’s beak, or coral gem, is a subshrub that spreads in the ground and produces stunning orange or red blooms shaped like a parrot’s beak.
You can find them on trailing vines exclusively in the Canary Islands. They’re also endangered and may already be nonexistent in the wild.
Protect These Rare Flowers at All Costs
This list contains only ten of the many rare flowers in the world. Due to deforestation and climate change, more flower species are on the brink of extinction.
If we don’t protect these plants and care for our environment, then we’ll continue to damage our ecology and deprive the current and future generations of seeing these beautiful and unique flowers.
Start by raising awareness of these endangered flowers, doing your part in cleaning the environment, and planting more trees.