Orchids are one of the most popular and most fascinating flowers in the world. They are always present on the most expensive and rarest flowers list. This is because of their unique beauty but also because there species that are so rare that can only be seen once in hundreds of years.

The orchid family (Latin name Orchidaceae) is one of the two largest families of flowering plants, along with the Asteraceae. There are between 21,950 and 26,049 currently accepted species. They are perennial herbs with no woody structure. Orchids are mostly known because of their mesmerizing flowers which come in many structural variations, colors and fragrances.

Although part of a huge family, there are many orchids that are critically endangered and can be rarely seen in nature. This 10 species we are sharing today are one of the rarest flowers in the whole world so take a look at them and enjoy their unique beauty.

The Ghost Orchid


photo via m.blog.daum.net

This orchid was discovered in Britain in 1954. They were only seen 11 times in the next 100 years which makes them one of the rarest flowers in the world. As for their name, they got it because of their creamy-white to pinkish-brown color and their fleeting occurrences in dark, shaded woods. They are quite small, usually under 15 cm.  Their Latin name is Epipogium aphyllum.

Yellow and Purple Lady Slippers


photo via imgkid.com

Yellow and Purple Lady Slippers are another very rare member of the orchid family that are mostly found in London and some other areas in Europe. The combination of yellow and purple on one flower is extremely rare to be found in nature which makes these orchids not only one of rarest but also one of the most expensive flowers in the world. They are protected by the law in London.

Hochstetter’s butterfly-orchid


photo via peerj.com

This orchid is definitely Europe’s rarest species and one of the rarest in the world as well. We are talking about the Hochstetter’s butterfly orchid or Platanthera azorica which has been recently rediscovered on a single volcanic ridge in the Azores. Although it was first documented in 1838, nearly two centuries have passed since the Hochstetter’s butterfly-orchid was last seen. Talk about rare!

Coleman’s coralroot


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This stunning purple orchid can be found  in only a few mountain ranges in the Southwest. Coleman’s coralroot or Hexalectris colemanii is a true mystery, even to scientists who still haven’t found our how the flowers are pollinated. There are only 200 of these rare orchids in the wild and they are very rare to be spotted. This makes them one of the rarest orchids in the world.

Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid


photo via pinterest.com

Meet the world’s most expensive orchid Paphiopedilum rothschildianum or known as Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid. This orchid is also known as Sumazau Orchid because the long sweeping side petals of flower look like the outspread arms of dancer of Sumazau, the most popular traditional dance of Sabah. What makes it so expensive is the fact that it is extremely rare, it takes around 15 years to grow and bloom and obviously – it is breathtakingly beautiful.

Dragon’s Mouth


via getyourbotanyon.blogspot.com

Dragon’s Mouth or Swam-pink (Latin name Equisetum telmateia) is a very rare terrestrial orchid that can be found in in bogs, swamps and other humid places in Eastern USA, North America and Eastern Canada. It is a beautiful, leafless orchid that grows up to 15cm and forms large pink/purple flowers with white and yellow ringed crests.

Sky Blue Sun Orchid


via gaiaguide.info

Thelymitra jonesii is a critically endangered member of the Thelymitra genius also known as ‘sun orchids’. They are called ‘sun orchids’ because they open their flowers only when the water is warm. Thelymitra jonesii or known as the sky blue sun orchid is found only in Tasmania. The leaf of the sky-blue sun orchid is channelled, fleshy, dark green with a reddish base, and is 6 to 21 cm long. The species flowers from October to early December.

Hawaii bog orchid


via threeflowersessences.com

This fringed orchid is one of the three species that can be found in Hawaii and lives in a bog, where the local wild pigs can’t reach it. Its pale green leaves are egg-shaped and greenish-yellow flowers occur on open spikes. Its Latin name is Platanthera holochila which means it is part of the Platanthera genus. The orchids from this genus are also known as butterfly orchids. They are terrestrial and have tubercules.

Bull Orchid


photo via en.wikipedia.org

Dendrobium taurinum is also known as bull orchid because of its twisted, hornlike petals. They are found in green, purple and white color. The size of the flower ranges from 5 to 6.5cm.  It is found in the Philippines and in the Indonesian Province of Maluku.

Threebirds orchid


photo via hikinginthesmokies.wordpress.com

Triphora trianthophora is commonly known as threebirds orchid, nodding pogonia or nodding ettercap . It is threatened in New England, and rare or threatened throughout much of its range in North America. These rare orchids are small perennial herbs with purple stems and small, fingernail-sized green leaves. Their flowers open a single morning and are pale pink with green crests on the lip. It thrives in semi-dry woodlands, near the bases of hardwood trees.