Rare Flowers – Understanding the Appeal
Like many animal species, a large variety of plants are becoming threatened and endangered by human development and industrial expansion. Although much of this appears to be avoidable, there are many groups working to minimize the damage caused to the ecosystem, and to create new homes where rare flowers and other species can live in safety.
Rare flowers can be the most appealing to all, especially to a serious botanist or gardening hobbyist. Many of these flowers are nearly impossible to find in the wild unless you know exactly where to look, have the means of getting there, and then the patience to search through forests and jungles tirelessly until you find a specimen.
The vast majority of rare flowers cannot be grown in your home garden due to specific environmental requirements. Some botanical gardens are able to succeed in nurturing and growing them, but they usually have special equipment and highly-trained experts on hand to attend to the growth of the plants. These botanical gardens are often the best places to go to see rare flowers without having to travel the world.
Rare Flowers – Two of the World’s Most Unique
There are two particular species of rare flowers that come to mind when you consider the more unusual or remarkable varieties. We’ve put together a short collection of information about these two species, the raffelsia arnoldii and Titan Arum, so that you can learn more about two vanishing and dramatically beautiful gems of the wild.
1. The rafflesia arnoldii is the world’s largest flower and perfect champion of rare flowers in general. Its gigantic flower grows to three feet in diameter. Found only in the jungles of Sumatra and Borneo, it is being heavily threatened by logging and urban growth.
Unusually, the rafflesia arnoldii emits a fresh carrion stench that is used to attract scavenging insects to aid in pollination. Because the flower only blooms for several days, and requires the delivery of pollen from a male to a female by an insect, this unlikely occurrence results in this being a species of very rare flowers.
Another odd thing about this plant is that it shows no normal plant characteristics. No roots, stems or leaves can be found. The flower has actually been compared to a fungus because it grows right out of its host – in this case the tetrastigma vine – and forms a parasitic bond with the host cells, allowing for transfer of nutrients.
2. The titan arum, easily deserving of a name linking it to the mythological giants of Greek lore, is another of the largest rare flowers in the world. The flower itself is capable of reaching eight feet in height, putting it beyond the reach of many men.
Thanks to its own unusual fragrance, which can be also compared to that of rotting meat, the titan arum is also known as the “corpse flower.” This odor attracts beetles, flies and other insects searching for a meal. They in turn help to pollinate the flower. The smell lasts for only about ten hours after blooming, making this an important time in the plant’s life cycle.
Both male and female flowers grow as part of the same structure. First the females appear, followed by the males several days later. This prevents self-pollination, which would reduce local populations. Once the flower has died, a single leaf grows up from the plant’s body, reaching upwards of twenty feet in height and sixteen feet in width. The leaf dies every year and is replaced in a cycle of renewal.
Rare Flowers – What You Can Do to Help
These two rare flowers are just a minute sampling of the thousands of species threatened worldwide by the greatest threat of all – ourselves. Many dwell in nations with limited conservation policies, and it can often be difficult to get in and begin work to preserve the various species. There are, fortunately, ways that everyone can help out.
The best way to save rare flowers is to arm yourself with more information. If you keep up-to-date on fresh topics of concern, you can help to spread the word of species endangerment to others in hopes that they will also try to make a difference. You can also make donations to various ecological groups who strive to do the work necessary to save many types of rare flowers throughout the globe.
You may even wish to consider becoming a botanist yourself, so that you can travel about researching and discovering new species of rare flowers. With the influence you would gain, it would be easier to make a difference. Head online and shop around for information about how and where to do this or to find conservation groups. In this manner you can help to save this world in which we love to live so that future generations can enjoy these rare flowers.
Copyright (c) 2008 Brant Florist
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