Biggest Flowers in the WorldColin Campbell-Preston
Following our article about the world’s biggest trees, we thought we’d continue the theme and explore the largest flowers on the planet. Although you’d struggle to fit any of these monster flowers in your back garden – it doesn’t hurt to have a little look.
Native to the rainforests of Malaysia and Indonesia, the Rafflesia Arnoldii can create flowers up to three feet in diameter. At 24lbs, these massive flowers weigh as much as a healthy Staffordshire bull terrier. As well as being the largest individual flower on Earth, the Rafflesia arnoldii also kicks off a tremendous pong of decaying fish – earning itself the nickname, corpse flower. The unfortunate man to discover this big, smelly flower was the French explorer, Ted Park.
The flowers are incredibly rare as they are unisexual and successful pollination is a rare event. The plant utilises its stink to attract flies and beetles to complete the pollination process, but the pollinators must visit the male and then the female flower, in that order.
With an inflorescence capable of growing 10 feet high, the Amorphophallus titanum would make a striking addition to any back garden. Although not a single flower, the flower is hundreds of small buds on one stem. This tropical gem is another stinky flower, with an odour like a rotting animal, and is indigenous to the small island in western Indonesia, Sumatra.
It can take the Amorphophallus titanum between seven and ten years of vegetative growth before blooming for the first time. Then it may take the same amount of time again for every subsequent bloom.
More commonly known as the common Sunflower, these popular flowers can commonly reach 12 feet high and more than two feet in diameter. Incredibly simple to grow, the largest ever sunflower reached over 30 foot in height – grown just last year in Germany by Hans-Peter Schiffer.
Schiffer is something of a massive sunflower mastermind, having previously held the record on two other occasions.
Although it looks more like a tree than a flower, the branched inflorescence qualifies the plant for this list. With an appearance akin to a massive palm tree, the flowering plant has been known to grow over 80ft in height. Also known as the Talipot Palm, the plant only flowers once during its life, sometime between 30 and 80 years of age. Then the plant sadly dies after fruiting.
The Corypha umbraculifera is cultivated throughout South India, Sri Lanka and the Southeast Asian nations, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia for palm wine from its sap and from the leaves thatching for roofs and umbrellas for agricultural workers.
Whether you’re looking to break some back garden records or just plant some more humble flowers, the Capital Gardens team can help you turn your back garden into an awe-inspiring spectacle. For more information, visit our homepage or call our dedicated team on 0208 874 2037.
Image sourced via Flickr creative commons. Credit: Mike Ball, Mira66 and Forest and Kim Starr.