Ugly Flowers

by adam.hart on October 23, 2009

The RHS recently did a poll for the ugliest plant species they could find so we thought we would share these with you…
You have heard the saying “only the face a mother could love” but are these freaky plants as ugly as everyone says they are?

Weird, peculiar, wonderful, strange, bizarre, fascinating, and unique, are the kind of words that are used to describe some of these wonders. See what you think…… beauty or beast?

Corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanium) Found in Indonesia was voted by Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society as the most unattractive plant. It can be found in Indonesia and apparently smells as bad as its name. It emits a rotting flesh stench. It can live for up to 40 years and blooms every 4 to 6 years, producing one of the largest flowers in the world, reaching heights of 5ft and widths of 4ft.


Another corpse flower is the Rafflesia arnoldii is also famous for producing one of the world’s largest flowers. It produces no leaves, stems or roots but lives as a parasite on the Tetrastigma vine. The flower is pollinated by flies attracted to its rotting flesh stench.


Close up the flower almost looks like it has tentacles. Look but don’t touch …..


Welwitschia was found in the Namib Desert around 1959. It is meant to be the longest-living in the plant kingdom and is capable of surviving severe extreme arid conditions. As you can see from the images it produces just two leaves, each can grow up to 80 yards long. The plant itself just looks like part of an unkempt garden, almost like part of your compost heap with its scorched leaves. It is however the leaves that protect that plant and help to keep it moist. It is poisonous to most animals, except for the black rhino.


The Welwitschia is current under threat from extinction which hard to believe considering how well it has adapted to its’ environment.


Monkey cups (Nepenthes)

The genus Nepenthes (Monkey Cup or Tropical Pitcher plant) is a carnivorous plant and can be found in found in tropical areas of India, Malaya, Australia. It is a vine-forming plan which produces pitchers to trap insects.



Vegetable sheep (Raoulia eximia)

Found in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, this white wholly plant that looks just like a sheep grazing from a distance.


These cushion plants are basically tightly compacted shrubs.


Above is a close up to show the foliage and how it resembles a sheep.

Bastard cobas (Cyphostemma juttae)

A most unappealing name!! Also called wild grape, tree grape and Namibian grape. Found in Namibia and reach up to 6ft. The large shiny leaves tend to fall during winter leaving it looking like a dead stump. Grape-like bunches appear near the end of summer.

Bastard cobas

Thorn of The Cross (Colletia paradoxa)

This South American plant is facing extinction due to loss of habitat.

Colletia paradoxa

Climbing Onion (Bowiea volubilis)

Also called the hideous sea onion or horrible sea onion and is found in arid conditions in the desert regions of Africa and Americas.

Bowiea volubilis

Birthwort (Aristolochia gigantea)

Giant Birthwort or Dutchman’s Pipe has a strong scent attracts insects. The inner part of the perianth tube is covered with hairs, acting as a fly-trap. The plant is said to bear a resemblance to afterbirth.

Aristolochia gigantea

Elephant’s Trunk (Pachypodium namaquanum)

Is found in the North Cape of Namibia and consists of a thick trunk which has spikes on it similar to an elephant’s trunk.

This plant also flowers in August to October.

Pachypodium namaquanum

Check out the flowers that come out in August to October


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Adam Hart

I am the Online Marketing Manager at Interflora and joined the business in August 2008. I am interested in all things digital which no longer qualifies me as a geek as everyone is these days. I recently became a father for the second time and I am looking forward to getting some sleep again at some point in the future! My contribution to the blog will be publishing posts every now and again on things that I think (hope!) you will enjoy reading.

Connect with the author: Adam Hart

Post category: Knowledge, Video & Photo  

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

ave 28 Nov 2009 at 3:57 am


murthy v v b s 09 Feb 2010 at 5:36 am

wonderful efforts in culturing the rare and beautifully ugly flowers show.
exhibit prominently so that people can view them and understand their
nature. These are very very rare to be seen.

Nadia Radzyminski 28 May 2011 at 3:25 pm

Most plants and flowers are ugly – The cactus can stab you, a thorny rose can prick you, and many flowers cause nothing but allergies and misery.

Nadia Radzyminski 12 Aug 2011 at 2:14 pm

But many flowers are nice as well.

Nadia Radzyminski 06 Sep 2011 at 2:06 pm

I like many flowers: chrysanthemums, lilacs, narcissus, lillies of the valley, daffodils, phlox, and crocuses.

They are all plant species, and all unlike any other.

Flowers can prosper and grow in good climates, where there is an equal distribution of sun and rain.

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