Flowers need not always look and smell great. Check out some of nature's "wildest" blossoms
AMORPHOPHALLUS TITANIUM OR GIANT VOODOO LILY
The Amorphophallus titanium is the world's biggest and worst smelling flower. It grows to a height of 8 to 15ft and is called the Holy Grail of the plant kingdom. It takes about eight to 10 years to grow from a seed to a flower. It originated in Sumatra, Indonesia and is found in the equatorial rainforests on limestone hills. This flower emits a foul odour when it blooms. It generally weighs close to 25kgs. The flower is popularly known as the corpse flower and blooms only a few times in its 40-year life span. The bloom lasts for two and a half days at the most.
TACCA INTEGRIFOLIA OR WHITE BAT FLOWER
The Brown's Peony (Paeonia brownii) is a perennial herb. This plant is a native to the United States and grows during spring. The greatest bloom is usually observed in mid spring, with fruit and seed production continuing until the end of spring. The Brown's Peony has a moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a moderate growth rate. It takes 20 years to mature and at maturity, it reaches the height of 1.5ft.
CLEMATIS OR OLD MAN'S BEARD
The name Clematis comes from the Greek word 'klema' which means 'climbing vine'. It was originally used to describe the periwinkle plant. It is a member of the buttercup family. Clematis is a flower that is known by many names and has different origins as it is grown in different parts of the world. In some parts it is known as Traveler's Joy, in others it is called Old Man's Beard. The Clematis plant comes in as many shapes as it has names. Some varieties of the plant are shrub-like and resemble herbs and a great number are climbing vines. There are almost 300 recognised varieties of the genus Clematis. This flower prefers non-acidic soils and fades in direct sunlight. It can survive for 25 years if cared for correctly. It can grow to a height of 30ft and produces 100 blossoms per season. It is a fragrant flower and comes in a number of colours.
TRICYRTIS FORMOSANA OR TOAD LILY
The Toad Lily blooms in early autumn and grows to about 3ft. This species is a native of the Himalayas and grows across eastern Asia including China. It grows naturally at the edge of forests.
The flower with the world's largest bloom is the Rafflesia. This rare flower is found in the rainforests of Indonesia. It can grow to be 3ft across and weigh up to 7.5kgs. It is a parasitic plant with no visible leaves, roots or stem. It attaches itself to a host plant to obtain water and nutrients. When in bloom, the Rafflesia emits a repulsive odour, similar to that of rotting meat. This odour attracts insects that pollinate the plant. Rafflesia is an official state flower of Indonesia and is classified into approximately 27 species, all found in southern Asia.
TACCA CHANTRIEREI, BLACK BAT FLOWER OR DEVIL FLOWER
Black Bat Flowers are the same as White Bat Flowers as they grow and flower more in good weather conditions and do the opposite in bad weather conditions. They have the same likes and dislikes as the White Bat Flower and originated in South East Asia. They bloom in early spring or late summer.
Stapelia consists of around 40 species of spineless, succulent stem plants. They are predominantly from South Africa. The flowers of certain species can reach up to 16 inches in diameter when fully open. Most Stapelia flowers are visibly hairy and generate the odour of rotten flesh. Such odours serve to attract various specialist pollinators like flies.
ARISTOLOCHIA TRILOBATA OR DUTCHMAN'S PIPE
Aristolochia or Dutchman's pipe is a fast-growing vine. It is usually 20 to 30ft wide but can spread in all directions. The smooth stem is erect or somewhat twining. The plants attract insects as they are strong-scented. The inner part of the tube is covered with hair which act as fly-traps. These hair wither to release the fly, covered with pollen. It is a large plant genus with over 500 species. They are widespread and occur in the most temperate climates and are commonly known for their ornate flowers. They originated in Central America.
DRACUNCULUS VULGARIS OR DRAGON ARUM
Dracunculus is also known as the Black Arum, the Voodoo Lily, the Snake Lily, the Stink Lily or the Black Dragon. It originated in the Balkans but some species of it are also found in Greece where it is known as Drakondia. Its height often exceeds 1mt. It is dark red in colour and can exceed 80cms in length. It flowers from late March to May and is found in river beds, olive orchards and gorges. Its height is 4 to 6ft and is from the Araceae plant family. Parts of the flower are poisonous. They require full sun exposure to grow.