The 9 Ugliest Flowers In the World

Black bat flower or Tacca chantrieri grow wild in the tropical forest, Thailand
© joloei/

Written by Patrick MacFarland

Published: May 5, 2024

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Flowers are beautiful. Whatever you think about getting flowers after a first date, it’s always a sweet gesture. Flowers can be a fantastic gift for any type of occasion. The receiver of flowers will always gush and think it’s such a great thought that you gave with that particular gift. And the receiver will always think the flowers are beautiful. And that’s because we tend to give bouquets of beautiful flowers. But what if there were bouquets of ugly flowers? Over time people have voted on the ugliest flowers in the world. But what are they? Let’s take a look at the nine ugliest flowers in the world.

Aristolochia Salvadorensis

Darth Vader plant (Aristolochia salvadorensis syn. Aristolochia Salvador platensis)

These flowers do not have petals and they can be various colors ranging from white, purple, or brown.

©Francisco Herrera/iStock via Getty Images

This flower is sometimes called the Darth Vader flower because if you notice carefully, it looks like the Star Wars villain, Darth Vader. Hailing from Mexico and Guatemala, the Darth Vader flower (Aristolochia salvadorensis) comes from the Aristolochia type of flower. There are 300 species of this genus and they inhabit spaces in tropical zones of both hemispheres in the world. They can grow up to 11 feet tall in their natural habitat, however, they usually are smaller in botanical gardens throughout the world.

Aristolochia grandiflora

Pelican Flower, Dutchmans pipe Flower, Aristolochia grandiflora. Monteverde National Park

Usually found in tropical florists, the

Aristolochia grandiflora

is native to Central America and the Caribbean.

©Peter Loring/iStock via Getty Images

Nicknamed the pelican flower, the Aristolochia grandiflora is a vine that not only looks ugly but also smells horrid. The smell is similar to rotting meat, which attracts flies. It is one of the largest flowers in the world. The flowers, which are shaped like hearts, can grow up to nearly 8 in wide. They also have tails that can grow up to 24 inches. These flowers are green or white colored with purplish veins. in the center, there is a black circle, which is where the odor is emitted to attract pollinators.

Titan Arum

This flowering plant is native to western Sumatra but has been able to grow in botanical gardens around the world.


The titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) is a flowering plant that has the largest unbranched inflorescence in the entire world. The flower emits a horrible odor that resembles a rotting corpse. This is why the titan arum is sometimes known as the corpse flower. These flowers can reach up to 10 feet tall.

Bat Flower

These black flowers are native to Southeast Asia, from southern China to Vietnam and the surrounding countries.


The bat flower (Tacca chantrieri) was named as such because of the shape and color of the flower. It is also sometimes referred to as devil flower. This plant has black flowers with what looks like cat whiskers. The plant can grow up to 100 centimeters tall in its natural habitat. The fantastic part about these flowers is that the Chinese have used them as a traditional medicine to cure cancer or even the common cold.

Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis

Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis is a species of orchid in the genus Bulbophyllum. Orchidaceae family.

Native to Papua New Guinea, the

Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis

looks ugly but also smells bad.


The flower, nicknamed the “Fly Orchid,” is technically an orchid, but usually, orchids are beautiful. This one is not. It also smells horrible. Because of the terrible smell that resembles rotting meat, flies go to pollinate this flower. The flower also has red tentacle-like stems that ooze. Lastly, the Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis is the largest orchid on the planet.

California Pitcher Plant

This plant was discovered by British botanist William D. Brackenridge in 1841 in Mount Shasta.

©Arty Alison/

The California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica) is called by various names including the Cobra Lily and the Cobra plant. It is a carnivorous plant native to Oregon and Northern California. This flower has leaves that can resemble a cobra or a pitcher. These leaves can be yellow or even green and purple. The flower was named after American botanist William Darlington.

Hydnora Africana


Hydnora Africana

is native to Africa and it is a parasitic flower.


This plant is a parasitic plant that is also called jackal food. Most of the plant is located underground, but its flower, which resembles long cantaloupe-looking tongues, is above ground. This flower also emits an odor that resembles feces. This attracts pollinators such as dung beetles and carrion beetles.

Ophrys Regis-Ferdinandii

Ophrys regis-ferdinandii, Leros, Greece

These flowers are native to mainland Turkey, but can also be found on islands in the Aegean Sea.


The Ophrys Regis-Ferdinandii is a tiny plant that is also called Earwig Orchid or King Ferdinand’s Orchid. They can grow up to 12 inches long. The tiny black and purple flowers that bud from the plants are extremely unique-looking. The flowers look like furry earwigs, hence the nickname.

Stapelia gigantea

Zulu giant, carrion plant and toad plant (Stapelia gigantea), blooms with a large smelly red flower

©Oleg Kovtun/iStock via Getty Images

The Stapelia gigantea is a flowering plant that is sometimes called the Zulu giant because of its size. The flowers are shaped like starfish tentacles and can grow up to 14 inches wide. The flowers are also covered in hairs that produce sulfur-like odors that smell horrible. The flower is pink or yellow-like with dark red stripes.

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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