Earth Science

Largest Flowers on Earth

 Largest Flowers on Earth

The largest flowers on this list are far from common garden varieties (except for the sunflower). Apart from being unusually large, some of them have strange appearances and two of them even have an awful smell! Aside from the size, the immensity of these flowers may also be judged by their massive proliferation, as well as their age.

Amorphophallus--titanum

Also known by its regular name titan arum, Amorophophallus titanium‘s most prominent feature is its unbranched inflorescence, which can grow up to 10 feet high. This isn’t really a big single flower but rather hundreds of smaller buds attached on a single stalk. Sometimes the flower is dubbed the “corpse flower” because it reeks of rotting meat which attracts certain insects such as flies and carrion beetles, the flower’s main pollinators. This flower is native exclusively to the rain forests of Sumatra.

Corypha--umbraculifera

The talipot palm (scientific name Corypha umbraculifera) is a type of palm tree which is native to many parts of South Asia but it can be grown as far as China. The tree features branched inflorescence and can grow up to 82 feet high. It is the largest flowering plant in the world.

Helianthus-annuus

One of painter Vincent Van Gogh’s favorite flowers, the more common and popular sunflower (Helianthus annuus) can grow up to 12 feet high when given adequate amounts of water and sunlight. Sunflower heads can also be massive, with the largest ever recorded measuring at 32 1/4 inches (82 cm) diameter.

Pando

Also known as “the trembling giant,” Pando is a clonal colony of a single male tree, the quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides). Over 47,000 trees grow from only one root system whose age is thought to be an estimated 80,000 years old. This makes the golden-colored Pando one of the biggest as well as one of the oldest existing organisms on the planet. Pando are deciduous trees that also bear flowers.

Posidonia

Posidonia refers to a genus of flowering sea grass that grows abundantly off the Australian and Mediterranean coasts. Like the Pando, the Posidonia thrives in clonal colonies. These plants are thought to be more than 100,000 years old.

Rafflesia-arnoldii

Perhaps the most famous big flower, the Rafflesia arnoldii gains its fame also for its horrible smell. It reeks of decaying flesh which attracts pollinators such as flies, that’s why the Rafflesia also deserves the nickname “corpse flower” along with Amorophophallus titanium. This rare flower is a parasitic plant of the Tetrastigma vine and grows only in pristine, untouched rainforests.

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