The Rarest Flowers

Have you ever thought about a plant that can consume its prey? How about a flower that blooms after three-thousand years? Recently, botanists have discovered new plant species possessing these weird characteristics.

Most of us thought that flowers and plants that are capable of blooming once after thousands of years exist only in childhood fairytales. Meanwhile, big plants capable of consuming their small prey are thought to be extinct. Fortunately, recent discoveries have validated the existence of these creatures. However, biologists have considered their population as endangered species due to the low existing numbers of their kind. Environmental changes and man-made activities are considered the primary reasons for the decline of their numbers.

Youtan Poluo


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The 38 pieces of very small white flowers measuring a diameter of 1mm was found by a Chinese farmer – Mr. Ding – growing in his steel pipes. Youtan Poluo is a legendary flower thought to exist only in the Buddhist scriptures. According to botanical experts, the flower only blooms once every 3000 years.

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According to Indian Myth, the flower only blossoms when the Sage King of the future visits the present world. Youtan Poluo is translated in Sanskrit as “Udumbara” or “Udambara” flower. Similar phenomenon has occurred at Chonggye-sa Temple in Seoul when the flower blossomed on the Buddha statue’s forehead.

Nepenthes Tenax

From the species of tropical flesh-eating pitcher plant, the nepenthes tenax has been spotted in the Northern Queensland, Australia. The Nepenthes Tenax can grow a maximum height of 100 cm with vines exceeding to 25 cm high. Nepenthes Tenax is regarded as exceptional specie of pitcher flower since others can only grow at a maximum height of 15 cm.

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N. Tenax is last found only January this year by the ecologist, Charles Clarke, from James Cook University. The plant is found in the northern Cape York. Botanical archeologists believe that this flower can actually consume small rats, mice, lizards and even birds. Botanists predict that the flower will cost around hundreds of U.S dollars per piece if sold in the global black market.

Kadupul Flower


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The legendary flower, named Kadupul, is believed to be an offering of Celestial Nagas for Buddha after they bloom. Kadupul flowers emit strange fragrance as it blooms during midnight. Strangely, these flowers immediately die during dawn.

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Seeing Kadupul flower blooms is a very rare experience among those that grow the flower. Kadupul flower is native to Sri Lankan lands but still, the blooming of the flowers has rarely been spotted even by the locals.

Silversword or Ahinahina Plant


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The endangered plant since 1922, Ahinahina, exclusively grows only in the alpine regions of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Haleakala. The tough skin of this plant is capable of enduring harsh weather conditions, especially snowy weather and intensive heat of the sun.

Image Source ; By LindiLindi (2007)

Ahinahina plant is currently being cultivated and protected from external threats due to their threatened population. According to the authorities of Haleakala National Park, silverswords have been endangered by extensive herding and vandalism.

Drosera capensis

Otherwise known as the Cape sundew, Drosera capensis is native to the land of South African cape. Cape Sundew is usually cultivated in the southern capes of Africa due to its insecticidal function. Sundew has its strap-like and beautifully colored tentacles that can grow to a length of 15 cm and 1 cm wide. These tentacles secrete sticky mucous substance called mucilage, which traps insects or other small preys.

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After sensing the creature, the tentacles perform its predatory mechanism, called thigmotropism, in order to trap its prey. Afterwards, the plant digests the prey using its digestive glands. Sundews are now considered endangered due to the increasing temperature as well as the limited growing areas available for their kind.

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29 Responses to “The Rarest Flowers”
  1. Glynis Smy Says...

    On September 24, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Loved the info and pictures thanks!

  2. valli Says...

    On September 24, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Beautiful flowers.

  3. Lauren Axelrod Says...

    On September 24, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Interesting piece. I have been seeing many of these lately. We have some Scientists on Triond don’t we!

  4. goodselfme Says...

    On September 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Lovely flower pictures with such a detailed write. Well done!

  5. Bozsi Rose Says...

    On September 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Excellent article. A flower that blooms at night and dies at dawn? I know people like that!

  6. nobert soloria bermosa Says...

    On September 24, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    simply amazing,nice post bro

  7. Darlene McFarlane Says...

    On September 24, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    They are all so amazing and beautiful. The first flower has such an interesting story behind it.

  8. Melody Arcamo Lagrimas Says...

    On September 24, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Breathtaking photos of fantastic flowers. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Johaubannah Says...

    On September 26, 2008 at 8:53 am

    This is amazing. Keep researching. I have never seen of this yet.

  10. Meg AE Kristan Says...

    On October 12, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Beautifully written article and beautiful pics! I’ve read a few of your articles and I really like your creative topics…you’re great.

  11. jamie Says...

    On March 9, 2009 at 4:49 am

    coolest ever

  12. andrew Says...

    On May 18, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I have the Kadupul Flower. It blooms at 9pm and smells really nice but it dies in a few hours.

  13. Jake Says...

    On June 13, 2009 at 11:46 am

    i didnt know that a flower such as the nepenthes tenax could grow so big!

  14. Steven J. Garner Says...

    On July 19, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you. I took the liberty of contributing the notable information about Youtan Poluo to

  15. Sourav Says...

    On September 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Absolutely lovely article and fantastic photos. Lovely!

  16. Phong Says...

    On September 7, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Re: Kadupul Flower.
    We have them growing in our garden in Sydney Australia, as do many Vietnamese Australians.
    The flowers are not so rare and can be seen in the late evening (before midnight) and still often look quite beautiful the next morning.

  17. Precious Says...

    On October 6, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Hello everyone. I am a guest but I would like to comment on your rarest flowers, which are amazing. My mom was given a piece of plant which they called the \”good luck\” plant here in Philadelphia, PA. We never knew then name of this plant and it would bloom after many years, one time out of the year at night with a beautiful white flower larger than your hand and it smelled like beauiful perfume. I am amazed that the plant my mom grew for years is one of the rarest plants and the flower was beautiful, it was the Kadupul flower. I took pictures of it and I was amazed when it would flower after midnight with a full moon and it smells so good. I believe the plant would keep its flower for 24 hours then it would die. The flower was bigger than your hand. If anyone knows where I could get another one, please let me know at I am amazed and I thank you.

  18. Summer & April March Says...

    On November 11, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    AWESOME! And, uhhhhh EWWWWW!!!! we like…LOVE IT!!!!!!Most of all…. The Kadupul, Silversword, and Youtan Polou, we didn’t know any of this stuff! we don’t do stuff involving plants so much.well April does!HELLO IM RIGHT HERE SUMMER!!!!

  19. Yanni Says...

    On January 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    To Precious:

    The Kadupul Flower is also known as the Night Blooming Cereus. We have several of these grown from one plant. Just take one of the smaller, but mature leaves (cut it off) and insert on a pot of soil. It will take root. :) Our plant took five years before it started blooming regularly (regularly, meaning they bloom once a year. However some owners who managed to grow plants TALLER than them are rewarded with regular blooming periods of three times a year.). They open fully at around midnight or so and has this awesome smell of something spicy like ginger yet sweet and fragrant like a rose with hints of vanilla. It is hard to compare as it is uniquely a “Kadupul Flower Scent” :P Hope this helps.

    P.S. We live here at the Philippines, a tropical country. They simply thrive on warm weather, but must be a bit humid. The leaves turn yellow when we do not mist it during summer.

  20. Yanni Says...

    On January 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Oh and another thing. When they seem to be too small for the pot, do not replant them. For some reason, we have observed that they love to be “pot bound”, that is, their roots are crowded inside the pot. When we replanted one of these to a bigger pot, it stopped blooming for a year! Now, it is blooming regularly again, even though we noticed that the pot is too small for it. They start blooming here at the rainy season, when the days start to get cooler and it rains almost everyday. We call this plant here “Engkantadora” roughly translated ot English as “Enchantress”. It is truly an enchanting plant!

  21. Yongky Says...

    On March 28, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Just want to say that, those pictures of Youtan Poluo are fake.
    The true “Youtan Poluo” is “Udumbara”, a plant akin to fig (fig flowers don’t really bloom).
    The pictures above are actually what is mentioned in wikipedia as “the other use of Udonge”.

  22. Demadestro Says...

    On April 7, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I don´t agree that the bolooming of kadupul flowers is rare, I live in Guatemala and I have a lot of kadupul flowers in my garden, and it´s very common to find the flowers, normally at midnight. The perfume is absolute exquisite. This plant is very easy to grow and as I know is part of the cactus family.

  23. janus Says...

    On September 29, 2010 at 9:09 am

    me too idon’t agree that

  24. Sadie Says...

    On October 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Amazing stuff!! However, I agree with Demadestro about the midnight flower. We used to have the plant at home in West Africa when i was growing up. It’s true that they don’t bloom as often as other flowers do, but they bloom more frequently than once a year. Smell used to fill up the house. A unique flower.

  25. FanFikr92 Says...

    On October 17, 2010 at 1:54 am

    The Youtan Poluo is now my all time favorite flower XD

  26. Don. S. Oh Says...

    On December 12, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    The picture of yōu tán.pó luó (優曇婆羅udumbara)in this web page is actually eggs of winged insects, dustywings, belonging to Coniopterygidae.

    The yōu tán.pó luó flower of Budhdust (and Hindi) scriptures is a kind of fig tree (Ficus racemosa) native to South Asia. All the figs have their flowers inner wall of their fruits so the flowers are not visible even though the tree bears abundant fruits.

    See more picture of this mistaken yōu tán.pó luó at

  27. janeyD Says...

    On June 3, 2012 at 12:06 am


    I am from Assam,north east India, boarders Nagaland..north west of Philippines. We have this plant which gives the flower Kadupul. I have watched this flower blooming exactly at midnight with my own eyes, strange sweet fragrance. The whole house smells…they dies at the dawn allright..they are really rare..I don’t remember from where my sister Parul got them from…!!!

  28. Juan Andres Says...

    On July 21, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Nice article. We have a Kapanul plant and i havent stayed awake by the first time to see it blooming…

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