Flowers have been an integral part of the Earth's landscape for millions of years. The novelty of their evolutionary process is both simple and manipulative. The notion of using scents and colors to fool animals and insects into doing their bidding has been long lasting and has proven to be a successful technique. Today flowering plants are one of the most varied life classes on Earth.
While these flower examples are a far cry from the garden varieties that are readily available, these large flowers are a clear illustration of the extent of flower adaptations.
The Rafflesia arnoldi is known for producing the largest sole bloom. It is also famous for its smell. The flower bears the nickname of the "corpse flower" because it smells of rotting meat. The plant made the accommodation in order to attract flies that assist in the pollination process. The Rafflesia arnoldii originated in the Malaysian and Indonesian rainforests. The flower can grow up to three feet in diameter and can weigh over 24 pounds. It can only be found on Tetrastigma vine tendrils that grow in untouched rainforest environments.
The Amorphophallus titanum has a bloom that can grow up to ten feet tall. Unlike the Rafflesia arnoldii, it is not composed of a sole flower but instead has hundreds of small buds contained on a single stalk. Amorphophallus titanum originated in Indonesia, although it is very hard to find there today. It primarily grows in contained gardens throughout the world. However, it is still rare to find it in either captivity or in the wild. Similar to Rafflesia arnoldii, Amorphophallus titanum has a distinct rotting meat smell to attract its pollinators. It is also frequently referred to as the "corpse flower."
The Corypha umbraculifera is more commonly referred to as the "Talipot palm." It has the distinction of the largest flowering plant that features branched blossoms. Instead of having budding that is on a sole stalk, the Talipot's flowers bud from multiple tiny branches that are attached to the main stalk. It is largest plant in the world today with heights that can reach 25 feet.
While most of the largest flowers in the world thrive in rarely visited rainforests and on occasion, a botanical garden, there are a few significantly large flowers that grow in frequented regions. Helianthus annuus or the common sunflower is one of the most prominent examples. When sunflowers are given ample amounts of space, sun and water, they can reach heights of 12 feet and diameters exceeding two feet. Whether the species are common or rare, sunflowers are a perfect illustration of the natural world's diversity.
Quaking aspen are deciduous trees. They do have the capability to flower, but it is rare that they do. When quaking aspen bloom, the flowers are small even though the plant is quite sizable. One of the most prominent examples of quaking aspens are Pando. This sole male tree's clonal colony is believed to cover an expanse of Utah exceeding 100 acres. This root system may be over 80,000 years old and has sprouted over 47,000 stems or trees. In addition to being one of the world's largest living organisms, it is also one of the oldest.