Black Rose – Turkish Halfeti

Turkish Halfeti Roses are incredibly rare. They are shaped just like regular roses, but their color sets them apart. These roses so black, you’d think someone spray-painted them. But that’s actually their natural color.

 These stunning black roses would make excellent props in a movie about witches and black magic, or in a heavy-metal video. There’s something extremely attractive about them, in an intense sort of way.
Although they appear perfectly black, they’re actually a very deep crimson color. These flowers are seasonal – they only grow during the summer in small number, and only in the tiny Turkish village of Halfeti. Thanks to the unique soil conditions of the region, and the pH levels of the groundwater (that seeps in from the river Euphrates), the roses take on a devilish hue. They bloom dark red during the spring and fade to black during the summer months.The local Turks seem to enjoy a love-hate relationship with these rare blossoms. They consider the flowers to be symbols of mystery, hope and passion, and also death and bad news. Unfortunately, the black roses of Halfeti are an endangered species. They have been under threat of extinction ever since the residents of the village moved from ‘old Halfeti’ in the 1990s, when the Birecik Dam was constructed.Old Halfeti and several other villages were submerged under the waters of the Euphrates, when the dam was made. The new Halfeti village was re-built on the grounds of Karaotlak village, merely 10 kilometers from its former location. This short distance proved fatal for the beautiful black roses. The villagers replanted them in their new gardens, but the flowers didn’t take to their new environment very well. There was a steady decline in the number of black roses grown in the region.
The district officials have made efforts to save the roses. They collected seedlings from village homes and replanted them closer to their original surroundings in greenhouses. They have been doing slightly better, ever since.
Seeing a black rose in full bloom is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing. Don’t miss it if you ever happen to be in Turkey during the summer! We’ve seen the pitch-black Turkish Halfeti Rose, we’re starting to understand that roses can be not only dangerous, kind of smelly and enchanting all at the same time, they can also be the perfect centerpiece of the most hardcore heavy metal album or low fantasy book cover of all time.
These roses, which appear perfectly black to the naked eye, are said to grow only in small quantities and only in the tiny village of Halfeti, Turkey. The unique soil conditions and pH levels of groundwater in the area – which seeps in from the Euphrates – create the deep crimson red color of the rose, which is, for all intents and purposes, solid black unless inspected very closely.
Exceedingly rare by virtue of its extremely limited geographical reach, the Halfeti Rose is made even more precious by the fact that they only appear black in the summer months. In other seasons, they grow with a pronounced, but still very dark, red tint.
The Turks, for their part, appear to have a sort of love-hate relationship with the rose, as it symbolizes not only mystery, hope and passion, but also (unsurprisingly) death and bad news. So, despite the flower’s extreme rarity, we can’t recommend buying one for your girlfriend unless you want her to think you plan on murdering her with black magic in the near future.
While the Turkish Halfeti Rose can only be grow in this very specific part of the world, its limited availability wasn’t immediately known until the residents of Halfeti were forced to relocate.
In the 1990s the Birecik Dam was built and by the 2000s it was filled with water. As a result of the newly constructed dam, the residents of Old Halfeti were repositioned about 10 kilometres away in what became known as the “new” Halfeti. The residents took their rose plants with them and replanted them in their new village but quickly realised that something was wrong.
The roses failed to thrive in their new location. While only a short distance from their original home, the soil in Old Halfeti had been fed by the waters of the Euphrates, which has a unique pH level. To prevent the extinction of this unique beauty, district officials collected seeds from the roses and planted them in greenhouses close to Old Halfeti. In doing so, they managed to save the striking rose.
While the rose can be grown in other regions around the world, only in Halfeti does the rose bloom in its black hue; when planted elsewhere, the rose always blooms in deep red.
Unique, intriguing and only found in one part of the world, the Turkish Halfeti Rose is truly one of a kind!

Corpse Flower – The Monster Flower

One of the world’s largest and rarest flowering structures, the corpse flower is a pungent plant that blooms rarely and only for a short time. While it is in bloom, the flower emits a strong odor similar to rotting meat or, aptly, a decaying corpse.
The corpse flower is endemic to western Sumatra where it grows in rainforests on limestone hills. For those who didn’t memorize the globe during their geography class, Sumatra is an island in southeast Asia in western Indonesia. It’s near Borneo and New Guinea. Sumatra has a wide range of plant and animal species but has lost almost half of its tropical rainforest in the last 35 years. Many scientists blame Singapore and Malaysia for their pollution. It’s also part of the same flower family as the calla lily.
The fragrance of the corpse flower resembles rotting meat, which attracts carrion-eating beetles and flesh flies that pollinate the flower. The red color and texture contribute to the illusion that the corpse flower is a piece of meat. The stench has been described as spoiled eggs, a soiled diaper, rotting fish, dirty laundry or even day-old roadkill – for those who disturbingly know what that smells like
There is a good reason for the plant’s strong odor. The smell, color and even temperature of corpse flowers are meant to attract pollinators and help ensure the continuation of the species.
Dung beetles, flesh flies and other carnivorous insects are the primary pollinators of this type of flower. These insects typically eat dead flesh. The smell and the dark burgundy color of the corpse flower are meant to imitate a dead animal to attract these insects.Corpse flowers are also able to warm up to 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 Celsius) to further fool the insects
The corpse flower’s inflorescence (otherwise known as a cluster of flowers arranged on a stem) can reach more than 10 feet in height. The leaf grows on a somewhat green stalk that branches into three sections at the top, each containing many leaflets. The leaf structure can reach up to 20 feet tall and 16 feet across. Each year, the old leaf dies and a new one grows in its place. When the corm (otherwise known as a plant stem) has stored enough energy, it becomes dormant for about four months. Then, the process repeats. The corm typically weighs around 110 pounds. The heaviest corm ever recorded was in 2006 in the Botanical Garden of Bonn, Germany where it weighed 258 pounds.
The scientific name of the corpse flower is Amorphophallus titanum. According to Gustavus Adolphus College, the name is from the Latin words amorphos (without form, misshapen), phallos (penis) and titanum (giant).
In cultivation, the corpse flower generally requires between seven and 10 years of vegetative growth before blooming for the first time. After its initial blooming, there can be considerable variation in blooming frequency. Some plants may not bloom again for another seven to 10 years while others may bloom every two to three years. There have also been documented cases of back-to-back blooms occurring within a year. The bloom typically opens between mid-afternoon and late evening and remains open all night. Most corpse flowers begin to wilt within 12 hours, but some have been known to remain open for 24 to 48 hours.
The corpse flower was first discovered in Sumatra in 1878 by Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari, according to the UC Botanical Garden. The plant grows in the wild only in tropical regions of Asia. Though the corpse plant isn’t endangered, it is becoming increasingly rare in its native home as a result of deforestation, pollution, farming and other factors.
The corpse flower is considered “vulnerable” when it comes to its conservation status. A vulnerable species is considered as such because it’s likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve. Vulnerability is mainly caused by habitat loss or destruction. There are currently 4,914 plants classified as vulnerable, compared to 2,815 in 1998.
Corpse flowers are pretty rare in the world of Botanic Gardens. Kew Gardens in London has two of them. The Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Mass. has one named Morticia. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia has a corpse flower that last bloomed in December 2012. The Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif. also has a corpse flower. There’s one named Putrella at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, Canada. And obviously, there is one at the Denver Botanic Garden, hence the purpose of this listicle. There are about 100 recorded cultivated corpse flowers around the world. The first recorded flowering in the United States was at the New York Botanical Gardens in 1937.