These Stunningly Rare “Skeleton Flowers” Turn Transparent When It Rains


While we explore nature, we feel much more relieved and connected do Mother Earth. And when you think you know everything that nature can provide – you are wrong.

Flowers, the most loyal agents of nature, are here to remind us how beautiful our life can be. They make nature’s most colorful ‘carpet’ and spread fragrance that touches our senses.

For now, botanists have explored thousands of flower species and many of them aren’t like the regular ones we know. Some flowers have components that respond to external stimuli.

Shameplant a.k.a ‘touch me not’ is the most popular plant that reacts when touched. It has a defense mechanism that activates when touched and the plant recoils its compound leaves inward. Minutes later, it slowly reopens its leaves.

Another flower specie that is not so common and astonishing is the skeleton flower. The white-petal woodland blossom reacts to water in a very unique way.

If you are walking past by these flowers on a sunny day you won’t notice any difference than other flowers. However, when it’s raining you will definitely notice something odd. Its petals turn glassy translucent that may look like they are exposing an inner skeleton. How amazing is that?

They cannot be found at many locations on earth, as they can only be seen in Japan, China, and the Appalachian Mountains in the USA. They require special conditions to grow, such as wet and cold climates.

Three different species of the genus grow in these three particular locations: Diphylleia cymosa in the Appalachians, Diphylleia grayi in China and Diphylleia Sinensis in Japan. These geniuses are the perennial flowering plants that produce the skeleton flower.

Diphylleia genus flowering plants are called “Umbrella plants”, as they form clumps of large, green, fuzzy umbrella-like leaves. On top of the cluster the skeleton flowers with cotton-white petals that are dotted with yellow and green centers.

These flowers bloom in spring and when raining they turn translucent due to their loose cell structure. When their petals come in contact with droplets or a steady supply of water, the droplets tend to stick to the exposed veiny structure.

The tiny droplets fill-up the lattices and cause increased light reflection. The flower turns completely translucent when it takes on the crystal clear appearance of water.

Even though most people think the pigment of the petals washes away with water, it is not. When the flower is completely dry, the white color will appear on the petals, as water droplets evaporate.

What is more fascinating is that the skeleton flower produces blue-colored berry after it is pollinated.

If you are amazed by this natural creation and live in a cold and moist climate, consider planting your own skeleton flowers in your garden.

Remember that these flowers are sensitive to light and for them to grow properly a shade is required. Skeleton also flowers require low maintenance, as they are perennial. Before you plant them, make sure the soil is moist and rich in organic matter.

When winter comes with low temperatures, the flowering plant will die. It is a hardy blossom that needs to be added to a layer of mulch on top. Do not water it frequently during winter and when spring comes, cut off the dead leaves for the new bloom. At this point when it blossoms, consider adding organic fertilizer.


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