Middlemist’s Red: The rarest flower in the world, growing in only two places

The red camellia, better known by its English name Middlemist’s Red or spring rose, is a beautiful but also extremely rare flower. In addition, its fate is associated with several mysteries. To say that it grows in two places in the world is not enough – there are literally two such plants growing on Earth at this point.

Middlemist's Red: The rarest flower in the world, growing in only two places

You’ll see one of them in New Zealand, the other in the United Kingdom. Only two grow on the entire planet, or at least that’s how many we know of.

It has always been a rare plant, reserved only for the richest and most distinguished families of the United Kingdom, as only members of the elite could afford to acquire such a luxurious ornament.

Middlemist’s Red Camellia got its name from John Middlemist, a Briton who was the first to bring the flower from China to Europe in 1804.

The traveller donated the plant to Kew Gardens, but it disappeared under mysterious circumstances, along with other representatives of its species. The exception is one specimen donated in 1823 to Chiswick House & Gardens, which is still growing today.

Even more mysterious than the camellia’s evaporation from London’s gardens is its complete disappearance from its natural habitat. After all, there is not a trace of the camellia growing in China as recently as 200 years ago. Why? This mystery has not been solved.

Just as there is no answer to the question about the second flower of this species growing on Earth today. This one is located in the garden of Treaty House in New Zealand. How did it get there? It is not known. All we know is that it was brought there in 1833.

There is another inaccuracy in the whole story. The fact that there are only two specimens growing on the entire planet – at the aforementioned Chiswick House & Gardens and Treaty House – is official information.

However, it has been established that the London establishment some time ago started selling the beetles to all those who were willing to pay several thousand pounds for them.

However, the managers of the gardens did not want to disclose the data of the buyers. So far the only one we know of are the owners of the Sky Gardens by Rafal villa estate in Saudi Arabia.

– We choose very carefully who we sell the camellia parts to,” explained Geraldine King, gardener at Chiswick House & Gardens, in interviews. What we sold to Saudi Arabia was one of the first cuttings we took from our plant.

No buyer has so far boasted of growing the flower or at least owning part of Middlemist’s Red, so it is still considered that the red camellia only exists in duplicate on Earth.

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