When you read about the following rare plants, you may wonder if the plant collectors that found them had to travel to alien planets to find them! The plants are indeed from the planet earth but most of them are found in very specific environments where most of us will never go, such as rain forests all over the world. Elite plant collectors with many years of experience search the most untraveled areas of the world to bring us news of never before seen exotic plants that are in danger of disappearing, usually due to habitat destruction. I have great respect for plant collectors—without them, we would never even get a glimpse of these bizarre and fascinating plants.
When I hear the word flower, my first thought is of something pretty that smells good—but this one is weird looking and smells like a rotting corpse. The petals of this flower are leathery and orange- red with bumpy, ivory colored spots surrounding a large hollow center disc. The corpse flower, which is the largest single flower in the world, is a parasite of woody vines on the islands of Indonesia. It has no leaves or stems and just bursts out of the host vine like some alien monster. These plants are endangered because of habitat destruction and overharvesting.