Top Ten Unique Flowers

Have you ever wandered through a friend's garden and stopped, mesmerized by an odd-looking flower you've never seen before? Unique (and sometimes just plain odd) flowers are found all over the world, from the tropics to the deserts. Planting one in your garden or keeping one as a houseplant will give you and your visitors a special talking point.

Banksia

Banksia is a native Australian wildflower in the family Proteaceae. It's known for its unique spiky, cone-like flower heads. The flower heads are comprised of hundreds on paired individual flowers, according to the Australia National Botanic Gardens. The flowers range from yellow to orange to red.

White Bat Flower

The white bat flower (Tacca Nivea) is native to Malaysia and is in the family Taccaceae. It has three-petaled, white "wings" with dark-purple or maroon bracts containing berries. Below the wings are its filament "whiskers." The white bat flower is evergreen and perennial and thrives in a tropical climate or humid greenhouse.

Angel Trumpet

Brugmansia, commonly called Angel's Trumpet, is a member of the nightshade family. All parts of brugmansia are poisonous. It can grow to the size of a small tree, and it produces very large, striking white, peach, gold or pink trumpet-shaped flowers that hang in clumps like bells.

Checker Lily

Checker lily (Fritillaria affinis) has two types of blossoms, depending on the cultivar. Its blooms are either purple-brown blossoms mottled with yellow, or pale yellow-green mottled with purple. This showy lily, with its nodding flowers, grows in woodlands, grassy meadows and rock gardens.

Voodoo or Dragon Lily

Voodoo or dragon lily (Dracunculus vulgaris) has stalks that resemble a jack-in-the-pulpit with a reptilian pattern. Its deep-purple spathe opens and shoots up a shimmering almost-black spadix that can grow up from 12 to 50 inches long. It is native to Mediterranean Europe and grows well in temperate gardens.

Heliconia

Heliconia (Heliconia spp.) is a rain forest herb that grows to 15 feet tall. Its shockingly bright red and yellow bracts house its flowers. The bracts are often used in flower arrangements, because they are waxy and long-lasting.

Night-blooming Cereus

Night-blooming Cereus (Peniocereus greggii) is also known as queen-of-the-night and deer-horn cactus. Its stunning, fragrant, 4-inch-wide white flowers are nocturnal and last for only 24 hours. They grow at the end of thin, gray-green spiky stems.

Waratah

The Waratah (Telopea speciosissima) has vibrant pink-red flower clusters at the end of leathery-leaved stems. Each cluster is made of hundreds of individual flowers. This shrubby member of the proteaceae is native to Australia.

Blue Passion Flower

Blue passion flower (Passiflora caerulea) is a quickly growing vine that becomes covered with white flowers surrounding blue-purple coronas. The very fragrant blossoms produce oval orange berries.

Gout Plant

The gout plant (Jatropha podagrica) also goes by the names Tartogo, Buddha Belly and Guatemala Rhubarb. This Central America succulent produces vibrant scarlet flowers at the end of a tall bottle-shaped stem.

Keywords: unique flowers, odd flowers, rare flowers

About this Author

Aileen Clarkson has been an award-winning editor and reporter for more than 20 years. Clarkson graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She has worked for several newspapers, including "The Washington Post" and "The Charlotte Observer."