One of mother nature’s most beautiful creations, flowers have long since been perceived as beautiful. Often fragrant and colorful, they make great gifts for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. After all, who isn’t happy to receive a bouquet?
As one can expect, the world is filled with numerous varieties of flowers—approximately 400,000 species to be exact. Some of the more common ones include roses, sunflowers, daisies, and lilies.
If you’ve ever stepped into a flower shop, however, you’ll know that they can be expensive. Delicate and harvested by hand, it can easily cost over $100 for a nice bouquet. For the most parts, however, they’re worth it—especially if they’re a gift for a loved one.
As you probably already know, flowers—like most things, aren’t created equal. Just as some are common, there are many rare species in the world. Naturally, the rarer they are, the higher the price tag. Curious to know what some of the most expensive flowers in the world are? If so, be sure to keep reading—we’ll be going over the Top 10 down below!
#10: Lily of the Valley – $15 to $50 Per Bundle
Despite being highly poisonous, this sweetly scented flower is one of the most valuable in the world. Native throughout Asia and Europe, they typically grow up to 30cm high and bloom in March. Fragile with a short lifespan (i.e. less than a week), they can easily wither and die if harvested improperly.
Often called Our Lady’s tears due to its shape—which resembles small, cascading bells, the lily symbolizes the return of happiness in the “language of flowers.” While white is the most common, slight variations in color do exist including rose pink and purple.
#9: Lisianthus – $35 Per Bundle
Native to the Southern United States, Carribean, Mexico, and South America, the lisianthus is known for its large, funnel-shaped flowers that can grow up to two inches across. Available in a variety of colors, they have been found in different shades of blue, white, purple, and pink.
Tricky to grow, the flowers tend to bloom in early summer, and in some instances, continue throughout the summer. Popular in the cut-flower market, the lisianthus symbolizes several things including traditional values, life-long bonds, and appreciation.
#8: Hydrangea – $7 Per Stem
First discovered in Japan, these perennial bushes are known for their globe-shaped flower heads, which vaguely resemble pom-poms. Produced from early spring to late autumn, the shrubs can easily grow up to three meters tall. Often used to express gratitude, the hydrangea symbolizes heartfelt emotions in the “language of flowers.” Interestingly enough, however, it also has a sad meaning of persevering love.
While the flowers in most species are white, some can be pink, red, or purple. In fact, the most expensive variety is the pure blue, which can cost upwards of $7 per stem!
#7: Saffron Crocus – $10 for 6 Bulbs
Often used as a spice in cooking, the saffron is the most expensive cultivated herb in the world. Known for its striking purple petals and orange stamen, the flower is unknown in the world as it is a human-cultivated species. Currently, 90% of the world’s saffron is produced in Iran.
Noted for its sweet fragrance, the saffron develop brilliantly hued flowers in the spring and can grow up to 30cm in height. Highly favored for bouquets, they are often associated with cheerfulness and youthfulness. In Ancient Greece, the flowers were worn as wreaths on the head to ward of fumes of liquor.
#6: Gloriosa Lily – $10 Per Stem
Native to Asia and South Africa, the Gloriosa Lily is unique in that its long tendrils go through a series of color changes that move from the tip to the center. Adapted to the summer rainfall, they often lie dormant during the dry season. A fascinating perennial, they have showy flowers, each of which has pronounced petals.
While the plant is toxic, various parts are traditionally used in medicine for a variety of ailments in both India and Africa. A symbol of ambition and success, they are also called the glory lily or flame lily.
#5: Gold of Kinabalu Orchid – $5000 Per Stem
One of the rarest flowers in the world, the Rothschild’s orchid is native only to the slopes of Mt. Kinabalu in Malaysia. An endangered species, the plant is protected by the government and cannot be legally picked—a reason for its exorbitant price. As one can expect, however, it can be purchased on the black market from smugglers, that is, for up to $5000 per stem!
A tall plant, it blooms with up to six flowers, each of which holds its petals almost horizontally. As beautiful and distinctive as it is, however, it can take upwards of 15 years to bloom.
#4: 17th Century Tulips – $5700 Per Stem
During the 17th century, the growing popularity of tulips led to what became Tulip Mania—a period in which the flowers reached extraordinary high prices. According to reports, single bulbs sold for more than ten times that of a skilled craftsworker’s annual income at the peak of the mania. In fact, it’s value was even higher than gold at one point!
As quickly as it grew in popularity, however, their prices soon collapsed in 1637—which allegedly ruined many investors at the time. While they can easily be purchased for a few dollars per bunch today, they sold for thousands of dollars during the Dutch Golden Age.
#3: Shenzhen Nongke Orchid – $200,000 Per Stem
A man-made flower, the Shenzhen Nongke Orchid took a group of researchers eight years to develop in China. One of the most expensive flowers on the planet, the first piece on the market sold for more than 1.6 million Yuan (approx. $200,000) at an auction in 2005!
Recognized for its beauty and rarity, the lilac-colored flowers are known for their burgundy drops at the pedals’ edges. Like most rare species, however, it does not bloom frequently—more specifically, it can take upwards of five years to bloom! Noted for its delicate flavor, its taste has also been praised by those lucky enough to try it.
#2: Juliet Rose – $4 Million
Bred by David Austin, the Rose Juliet was created over fifteen years of intensive breeding. Noted for its contemporary, yet sophisticated color—one not found in roses of the past, each peach-colored bud opens up to reveal deeper inner tones.
Popular for weddings and other special occasions, it is said to have a light fragrance that is reminiscent of daffodil and snowdrop. Held on strong stems, the cupped rosettes are held elegantly upright. Since its debut at the 2006 Chelsea Flower Show, it has truly taken the floral world by storm. Today, it is often referred to as the “£3 million rose.”
#1: Kadupul Flower – Priceless
Native to Sri Lanka, the Kadupul flower is so expensive, that it has no price tag—this is due to the fact that it dies the moment it is picked. Due to its cactus-like roots, it has an incredibly short lifespan, that is, it only survives one night, before withering away.
Despite this, it remains to be celebrated worldwide, especially for its fragrance and calming qualities. Unfortunately, the only way to experience the scent is to buy a special perfume, which can also set you back quite a bit. Often called the Queen of the Night, the flower boats a beautiful hue of yellow and white.