Officially, We’ve Found the World’s 40 Cutest Flowers

White Egret Orchid (Habenaria radiata)

fringed white egret orchidTetsuo Wada/Aflo //Getty Images

File this one under: Flowers that Look Like Other Things. Shaped like a bird with fringed wings and a long curved neck, this breathtaking beauty looks like a tiny white egret flitting around a field. Magical.

Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)

sacred lotus flowerYS graphic//Getty Images

Few flowers are also religious symbols, but the sacred lotus qualifies. It sits just above the water like a peaceful pink boat, while its stalk and roots reach deep into the mud in the dark waters below. If that’s not a meaning-of-life story about the balance between struggle and beauty, we don’t know what is.

Pompon Dahlia (Dahlia variabilis pompon)

pompon dahlia flowermtreasure//Getty Images

Blossoms in every color imaginable make dahlia flowers a gardener’s favorite. On this pom-pom-shaped variety, look at how each petal is shaped and placed so uniformly in a near-perfect sphere. It’s so satisfyingly organized, and—if you can say this about a flower—tidy. They’re also mini (only two inches across), which automatically makes them adorable.

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Calla Lily (Zantedeschia)

white arum calla lilymick blakey//Getty Images

If you want your flowers to come with a mythological pedigree, the calla lily is said to come from the breast milk of none other than the Greek goddess Hera, wife of Zeus. Back on earth, we celebrate them for their simple beauty and the way a single petal spirals elegantly around its spadix.

Sweet Juliet Rose (Rosa ausleap)

sweet juliet rosehanamirae//Getty Images

Costing 15 years and $3 million, the Sweet Juliet was created by David Austin to feature maxed-out petals and smell like a sweet tea. When he debuted the rose, people fell wildly in love. He sold it for $5 million, making this apricot sweetie the most expensive flower in the world.

Lavender (Lavandula lavandin)

france, provence, lavender fieldsWestend61//Getty Images

Tiny lavender flowers smell amazing, and when you see millions of them in a field—say, in Provence, France—the effect is absolutely sublime. Fortunately, lavender bushes are just as easy to grow in a sunny spot in your yard, and you can harvest the flowers to make things like essential oils and body scrubs.

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Teddy Bear Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

teddy bear sunflowerVladst1969//Getty Images

Whoever named this flower got it 100 percent right. It’s not often you look at a flower and think «cozy,» but the teddy bear sunflower is begging for a cuddle. Perhaps Vincent Van Gogh thought so too, because this varietal features prominently in his masterpiece.

White Batflower (Tacca integrifolia)

white bat flower tacca integrifoliaTammy Walker//Getty Images

The tropical white batflower is a sight to behold, but you’ll have to stay up late to see it. Once the stalk rises about three feet above its huge leaves, it blooms at night, throwing out those wild tendrils and opening its white and dark purple petals. It looks a little like a bat, but the flower gets its name because bats are its pollinators.

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra)

plumeria frangipani flowerIuliia Bogdanova//Getty Images

When someone gives you the gift of a lei in Hawaii, it’s most likely strung with fragrant frangipani flowers. They come in many colors, but this marshmallow white with a spritz of bright yellow is floral minimalism at its finest. Funny story: Frangipani is the name of a fake botanist dreamed up by 19th-century London perfume titans to sell their latest product.

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Middlemist’s Red (Camellia japonica)

middlemist's red camellia flowerPridannikov//Getty Images

No list of beautiful flowers is complete without a mention of the rarest flower on earth. This small, red camellia may look simple, but only two original live plants of its kind exist—one in New Zealand and one in the UK.

Delphinium (Delphinium elatum)

close up portrait of the blue flowers of delphinium 'spindrift' spires, perennialClive Nichols//Getty Images

We didn’t spot any at King Charles III’s coronation, but we’re pretty sure one of his many homes features this tall delphinium. After all, it’s his favorite flower. If you’re going to grow it in your own garden, be careful: Every part of the plant is toxic to humans and animals.

Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica)

fuchsiaJuergenBosse//Getty Images

Fuchsia can grow as shrubs or small trees or on vines, producing pink and purple flowers so bright they almost look cartoonish. What’s really cool is that the flower wasn’t named after the color; the color was actually named after the flower.

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Eucalyptus Gum Tree Flowers (Corymbia ficifolia)

eucalyptus gum tree blossomVicki Smith//Getty Images

Most of us know eucalyptus for the fragrant blue-silver leaves that we use for decoration, but the eucalyptus gum tree offers a completely different surprise. It produces Ping-Pong-ball-size seed pods, which are themselves often used in flower arrangements. We recommend patience because when they bloom, you’ll get one of these dusty rose, sea-anemone-looking flowers per stem, and they cover the whole tree. It’s magnificent.

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

crane flower or bird of paradise strelitzia reginaeAlexandre Morin-Laprise//Getty Images

A patch of flowers that looks like a curious flock of birds is exactly the level of whimsy we love to see in a garden. This tropical beauty is so colorful, it’s easy to see why people keep planting it. Although it’s not a rare flower, it’s actually quite unique because only five varieties of it exist in the world.

Saffron Crocus (Crocus sativus)

crocus sativus, commonly known as saffron crocus, or autumn crocus the crimson stigmas called threads, are collected to be as a spice it is among the worlds most costly spices by weight nature conceptHana Richterova//Getty Images

This watercolor-like crocus is gorgeous, but that’s not the main reason people are obsessed with it. It’s the three auburn stigma that grow from the center and are harvested to make saffron spice that make it so covetable. The stigma are so fragile that they can only be harvested by hand, which is why saffron is one of the most expensive spices per ounce.

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Mr. Lincoln Rose (Rosa «Mr. Lincoln»)

mister lincoln is a large flowered bush rose this tall red rose is renowned for its strong fragrance and its deep, uniform red color it grows to about 12 metres high and 1 metre across the leaves are matt dark green the buds are deep red and open up into large, velvety red, double blossoms it has typically around 30 to 35 petals per flower it is a vigorous plant that performs well in all climatesmtigrek//Getty Images

If someone tells you to close your eyes and picture a rose, a deep red version like this one (with that strong perfume we all hope for when we stick our nose in a flower) is probably what comes to mind. And yes, it’s named after President Abraham Lincoln.

Double Ellen Green Lenten Rose (Helleborus x hybridus)

helleborus double ellen green is part of buttercup family ranunculaceae mixed colour hellebore flower in late winter lenten hellebore or christmas rose flowers in springtimelesichkadesign//Getty Images

You might think green leaves with green flowers sound redundant until you see this frilly chartreuse beauty. It grows well in pots, returns every year, and is a wonderful way to bring some lime green in your life. It is a toxic plant, though—don’t touch.

Parrot Tulip (Tulipa gesneriana var. dracontia)

pink, white and green fringed parrot tulipTammi Mild//Getty Images

People love traditional tulips for their tall stalks, clean lines, and bright monochrome flowers, but it would be careless if we didn’t call out the untraditional parrot tulip with its frilly edges and bold marbling. While a trip to Holland’s tulip fields remains a dream-come-true scenario, we’ll have to make do with the bulbs growing in our own yard.

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Bearded Iris (Iris × germanica)

iris 'folie douce' cayeux flowerClive Nichols//Getty Images

An iris is a wild and ancient flower, complete with mythological backstories and rich symbolism, and it’s only in the past 200 years that Americans have been growing it in their gardens. With three-foot stems and flower petals that fold down to reveal different colored petals inside, it’s no wonder it’s irresistible to gardeners.

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

passion flowersfotolinchen//Getty Images

A passionflower tends to appear as if it’s inside out. All the parts are on display, pointing every which way, and they’re all different colors. Even the vine it grows on is beautiful—full of cute, curling tendrils that hold on tight as it grows as tall as 30 feet. It’s such a joy to have around.

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You will be enthralled with the most exquisite flowers in the region of the rising sun.

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