Majestic and Unique Flowers
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may facilitate outcrossing (fusion of sperm and eggs from different individuals in a population) resulting from cross-pollination or allow selfing (fusion of sperm and egg from the same flower) when self-pollination occurs. Some unique flowers produce diaspores without fertilization (parthenocarpy). Flowers contain sporangia and are the site where gametophytes develop. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen. After fertilization, the ovary of the flower develops into fruit-containing seeds.
This tropical tree is found in the rain forests of Central and South America and, at some points, looks bright red lips. It apparently evolved into its current shape to attract pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies, but it only looks like lips for a short while until it spreads open to reveal flowers.
How many plant species are there in the world?
There are about 391,000 species of vascular plants currently known to science, of which about 369,000 species (or 94 percent) are flowering plants, according to a report by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the United Kingdom. *
The Amorphophallus Titanum
The Amorphophallus Titanium is one of the largest flowers in the world. The plant’s full bloom only once every seven to ten years. This rare event only lasts 24 to 36 hours.
The Amorphophallus Titanium also called corpse flower, herbaceous flowering plant of the arum family (Araceae), known for its massive foul-smelling inflorescence (cluster of flowers). The plant is endemic to the steep hillsides of rainforests in western Sumatra but is cultivated in botanic gardens worldwide. The unusual short-lived flower structure is the largest unbranched inflorescence of any plant and smells of rotting flesh. Usually taking 4–10 years or more between flowerings, a titan arum is often a major tourist attraction when in bloom.
The Naked Man Orchid
The Snap Dragon Seed Pod
Hanging Lobster Claw Flower
The Monkey Face Orchid
The Bird of Paradise
The Ice Cream Tulip
The Moth Orchid
Not only is the Phalaenopsis orchid a stunning shade of fuchsia, it also looks like a bird nesting within a wall of petals, though some have compared it to a moth in flight. In fact, the flower’s scientific name may be a reference to the genus Phalaena, which describes a certain species of moth. (Photos: Christian Kneidinger, José Roberto Rodrigues Araújo)