Sunday, December 29, 2013


Cypripedium Calceolus (Lady Slippers)        
Cypripedium Calceolus is considered to be the rarest type of wild orchids, found in Europe. The plant is extinct in Greece and has become endangered in England. Since 1917, strict protection policies have been implied for conservation of this plant. Besides the fact that it is one of the most difficult plants to be propagated, a single cutting of this plant is sold for US $5,000. (Shocking! Isn’t it?) The seeds do not provide any nourishment to the growing plant, for this reason it develops a symbiotic relationship with a fungus of a specific type. This fungus nourishes the plant till the time the plant becomes capable of producing food on its own. Why this plant is called lady slipper is quiet obvious. The plant bears a sac like structure resembling “lady’s slipper”, mostly yellow in color with red spots on the inside. The sepals and petals are twisted and usually purple or maroon in color. This plant was first discovered by three botanists named Dodoens, Clusius and L’Obel in Europe.

Psychotria Elata (Flower Lips)                        

What you are looking at is a picture of a plant; they are not woman’s lips. So don’t get confused when you see one in reality. Psychotria Elata is commonly known as Flower Lips, Hooker Lips or Hot Lips Plant. You can find these plants in the tropical rain forests of Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador. Due to deforestation these spectacular plants have become endangered. This biennial plant bears bright red bracts resembling the lips of a woman wearing red lipstick. From these bracts tiny white flowers emerge that serve as food for the humming birds and butterflies. Some people also call it Mick Jagger’s lips. This kissable red plant is truly a miracle of nature.

Lotus Berthelotii (Parrot’s Beak)

As the name suggests Lotus Berthelotii resembles the brightly colored beak of a parrot. Since 1884, this plant has been declared as exceedingly rare. Lotus Berthelotii is believed to be almost extinct in the wild. The plant is native to Canary Island. This plant has a creeping habit, it bears reddish-orange flowers which are 2 to 4 cm in length.

An interesting fact about this striking plant is that it reproduces with the help of bird pollination. The sunbirds which helped in its pollination have become extinct in the Canary Island. This is one of the reasons for this plants’ extinction. Currently researches are being made to find new pollinators that can help to save the remaining population of this plant.

Epipogium Aphyllum (Ghost Orchid) 

Epipogium Aphyllum, commonly known as the Ghost Orchid was presumed to be extinct for nearly 20 years, but currently it has been found in some areas, in UK, after a long time. It has also been reported to grow in France, Russia and Japan. It usually grows in oak, beech, spruce and pine forests or in areas which experience cold winters. Why is the plant so rare? It is said that it is almost impossible to propagate this plant as it bears no leaves, thus no photosynthesis takes place. 

The plant is not capable of producing its own food; it is dependent on some type of fungus to get its nourishment (similar to lady slipper). For this reason the propagation of this plant is nearly impossible. The plant can survive underground for ages and only blooms when optimum conditions are available. The plant bears dozen stalks and 3 to 4 flowers at a time. Many orchid enthusiasts search for ages to get one glimpse of this ghostly flower.

Tacca Chantrieri (Black Bat Flower)

Tacca Chantrieri is famous for its bat-shaped black flowers. This flowering plant is often confused with a flying bat. The flowers are almost 12 inches in width and bear whiskers that reach a size of 28 inches. These flowers are also available in white and brown shades. It comprises of bracts usually in green or white color. You can find them in tropical forest area of Yunnan Province, in China. The plant reaches the height of 36 inches and requires well-drained soil and humid climate for best growth. This particular plant is considered among the endangered plant species.

All the above mentioned plants are few and far, so you can consider yourself lucky if you actually witness one. Another interesting fact about these plants is that they resemble some object.

Information provided by Editorial Staff

1 comment:

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