Even the greenest fingers stop at the corpse flower. The biggest bloomer on Earth, this species is also the stinkiest, pervading the atmosphere with the stench of rotten flesh. What a relief that it’s one of the world’s rarest flowers!
Rafflesia arnoldii, as it is formally known, uses disgusting odours to lure flies and other insects to pollinate the plant. Native to the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, it takes up to 10 months to bloom fully before the flower dies a week later. The plant has no leaves or stem, but lives as a parasite inside a host plant, hidden from view until the flower bud bursts through and the giant bloom unfurls.
At the other end of the floral spectrum is the Asian watermeal plant, or Wolffia globosa. The size of a grain of rice, this green grower is the world’s smallest flowering plant, and can be found floating in streams and ponds.