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The World’s Most Expensive Flowers

The World’s Most Expensive Flowers on

The gloriosa lily, aka “fire lily”

To enjoy these beauties, you’ll have to dig deep

Economists often point to the tulip mania that gripped 17th-centruy Holland as a cautionary tale of investments and bubbles. It’s also a perfect illustration of how beauty, rarity, and fragility came together to determine a flower’s worth.

The same is true in today’s flower market. Just as they did in 1637, these three concepts are helping steer the prices of the world’s most expensive flowers.

Lisianthus: $10 -$35 per bunch

Available in a variety of colors from pale purple to lavender to white, this New World native can be found in the southern United States, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern areas of South America. Single forms resemble tulips; doubles look like roses. Once cut, the flowers only survive two to three weeks.

Lily of the Valley: $15 – $50 per bunch

For many northern gardeners, it’s inconceivable that lily of the valley is on the list. The sweetly fragrant, small bell-shaped blooms are prolific bloomers and a nostalgic reminder of gardens gone by. Giving them value, though, is a very small blooming window (about two weeks in May), fragile stems, and flowers that droop easily.

Hydrangea: $6.50 per stem

Like lily of the valley, hydrangeas are another surprising entry on the list – and can often be more expensive than roses. They seem to grow everywhere, and their full flowerheads a great way to fill out a bouquet. The issue, though, is that once they’re cut, those flowerheads wilt and droop – and no longer look so full.

Gloriosa Lily: $6 – $10 per stem

The gloriosa lily goes by many names: flame lily, fire lily, and glory lily, to name a few. With petals that resemble bursts of flame, this climbing plant also has a Latin name: Gloriosa superba “Rothschildiana” – as in Rothschild.

Semper Augustus Tulip: $5,700 (in 17th-Century Holland)

The Semper Augustus tulip is no ordinary tulip. It’s the most expensive tulip sold during Holland’s Tulip Fever in the 17th century. As breeders developed cultivars, some tulip flowers developed colored markings. When a white tulip with red markings appeared on the trading network, tulip collectors fell into a frenzied bidding war. What they didn’t know then is the random mutation was caused by a virus that, in time, weakened the bulb.

Saffron Crocus: $1,200 – $1,500 per pound

In 1966, when Donovan sang the lyric “I’m just wild about saffron” in his hit song “Mellow Yellow,” he could easily have been singing about the spice. The real treat of this purple flower is the stamen, which is handpicked, dried, and ground into saffron, a spice that is enjoyed by chefs and cultures around the world. It takes 80,000 flowers to make just one pound of spice.

Gold of Kinabalu Orchid: $5,000

With long green petals and red spots, this is one of the rarest orchids in the world. It can only be found in the Kinabalu National Park in Malaysia, where it grows between April and May. It can take years for flowers to appear.

Shenzhen Nongke Orchid: $200,000

This flower is the result of researchers at the Shenzhen Nongke group and took 8 years to grow. Because of its time in development, as well as taking four to five years to blossom and a delicate flavor, the bloom sold at auction for 1.68 million Yuan.

Juliet Rose: $15.8 million

There are standard roses and there are garden roses, and the Juliet rose falls in the latter category. While standard roses can be harvested continually, garden roses are more delicate and may only bloom once a season. That and the fact that it took for 15 years for David Austin to develop the flower helped push the Juliet rose to second place.

Kadupul Flower: Priceless

There simply isn’t a way to place a dollar amount on this rarest flower of them all. This flowering cactus blooms once a year – and when it does, it opens at night and withers away by daybreak. In fact, the flower is so fragile that it cannot be picked and so it cannot be bought or sold.

Flowers that won’t break the bank

At HOSA International, we believe all people should be able to enjoy flowers. That’s why we develop and grow flowers that are beautiful, fresh, and affordable. For more information about HOSA International, our flowers, our policies, and what we can do for you, or to place a wholesale order, call us at 305.470.9991 or complete our online form.

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Flower Distributor

Flower Distributor