Surely, you’re no stranger to beautiful flora. A bouquet, garden, or field of flowers may have already swept you off your feet with their good looks. But have you ever seen a bloom so oddly beautiful it got you intrigued? You see, not all flowers can be outrightly described as pretty. Some look strange, unique, unusual, and extremely interesting.
Let’s get to know five of Europe’s most fascinating flowers and see why you must find the opportunity to see them up close.
European Caper Bush (Capparis spinosa). Did you know that the capers in your Mediterranean salad actually came from a beautiful bush? The spiny, arid-adapted caper bush is grown for its unripened flower buds that are picked, brined or cured to remove the bitter flavor. The Caper Bush produces ornamental white flowers with long, striking violet stamens. Each showy flower lasts only a day or about 16 hours, but other buds will continually open. The leaves are thick, shiny, and have a round to ovate shape.
This plant grows slowly and will hit maturity in a couple of years. It requires plenty of direct sunlight but can handle even nutrient-poor soil.
Canary Bellflower (Canarina canariensis). A rare bloom you won’t easily find in a local plant nursery, the Canary Island Bellflower grows on Canary Island where the climate is dry yet cool. This flower is bell-shaped, glossy, and orange-red in color. The Canary Bellflower also has a red vein pattern across its petal surfaces.
This lovely plant forms underground tubers that aid in its survival during the dry summer period. This plant doesn’t like too much heat and it doesn’t like frost either. The fruits of this plant are edible.
Fly Orchid (Orphys insectifera). Grown widely in Central Europe, the Fly Orchid can usually be found on chalk and limestone soils, in grasslands and on woodland floors. It would be weird to call this flower pretty, but it sure is distinctive and interesting. True to its name, this Ophrys species displays an insect-like appearance. Its lip resembles the fly's body with the shiny mirror like a fly’s folded wings. At the base of the flower’s lip are two glossy depressions looking like the insect’s eyes.
This tall plant can grow up to 60cm. It is spindly and has an inflorescence that can carry up to 15 flowers.
Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris). This flower from the Liliaceae family always attracts attention given its bizarre appearance. The plant has tall and wiry stems bearing bell-shaped blooms, with the tepals showing a pale pink checkerboard pattern. The Fritillary comes in various shades of purple but you can occasionally find them in white, too.
Tower of Jewels (Echium wildpretii). This biennial flowering plant has colorful inflorescences from its tall rosettes of silvery foliage. Native to the Canary Islands, this plant can grow up to 8 feet tall and can surely make jaws drop with its stand-out appeal. This plant's thick flower spire burst with rows of cerise to salmon pink cupped flowers. When sunlight hits them, they appear as if their sparkling in pixie dust.
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