The Top Nine Manliest Flowers

August 27, 2010

Women love flowers. Birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day are all about petals, blossoms, and blooms. This overload of flowers is, well, enough to turn any man into a pansy. So where are the flowers of the manly variety?

Photo: UpperCut Images/Getty Images


9. Snap Dragon (Antirrhinum)

Photo: Suzanne Opton/Riser/Getty Images

The snapdragon is a flower adored by women. That said, one must not forget that this flower resembles a dragon and no matter what anyone says, dragons in any form are badass. You could have a dragon made from cotton candy, sprinkled with fairy dust, and pieced together with Liberace’s glitter jacket and it would still be masculine.

The other cool thing about the snapdragon is you can play with it. If you squeeze laterally on the flower the dragon’s mouth will open and close. That’s where the "snap" part of the name comes from. It’s like nature invented a toy.




8. Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Photo: DEA / E. Bertaggia/Getty Images

Yep, man’s favorite drink is made with a flower. Hops, the female flower clusters of the Humulus lupulus plant, are a key ingredient in the brewing of beer. By default this makes hops an incredibly dude-like flower (even if it’s actually female). Besides, it’s not like we’d admit to drinking flower water.

Hops are used in beer as a flavoring and stability agent. They originated in Germany and have been used in the production of beer for nearly a thousand years. Hops help mellow out the sweetness of the malt by adding a bitter, tangy flavor. They also aid the activity of brewer’s yeast and help preserve beer. That's something all men can drink to.

7. Cactus (Echinopsis oxygona)

Photo: Harald Süpfle/Wikipedia

Cactii in general are masculine plants. They are tall, prickly on the outside, somewhat unapproachable, sturdy, and tough. The flower of the Echinopsis oxygona, a cactus native to Argentina, is the one-night stand of flowers. The flower’s presence is fleeting. Its faintly sweet-smelling flower opens at the end of a long tube connected to the cactus, standing erect and ready. The flower opens in the evening, hoping for pollination, but by sunrise it's dead. Like a one-night stand it’s beautiful while it lasts but you’re unlikely ever to see it again.

6. Belladonna (Atropa belladonna)

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Belladonna flower, also known as Deadly Nightshade, is one of the most toxic plants in the world. It’s hard to imagine that such a thing of beauty could be so dangerous. Just consuming a leaf or two of this plant can have deadly consequences.

This flower has a history of being used a deadly weapon. Folklore has it that this plant was used by early humans to make poisonous arrows. It is also said to have been used by Macbeth “to poison of the troops of the invading Harold Harefoot, King of England.”

This is the type of flower you might give a mortal enemy, such as an unbearable mother-in-law.



5. Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca)

Photo: Miwasatoshi/Wikipedia

Shaped like a cigar, this is the type of flower Arnold Schwarzenegger could get behind. I suspect the Governator would like it for two reasons. The main reason being that this flower is potentially a form of energy and could make flower power a reality. The plant, which grows well in semi-arid areas, is being investigated for the production of bio-ethanol. Soon the deserts could become the oil wells of the future. It also means Arnie could power his biodiesel Hummer.

The other reason Arnie would find Tree Tobacco manly is because he could smoke it like a cigar (while driving in his Hummer). For centuries the native South American plant has been smoked and used for medicinal purposes by Native American groups. There is, however, a drawback. The plant is said to be highly poisonous and is known to be responsible for a number of deaths. So think before you light up. This flower is clearly not fit for girly-men.


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4. Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

Photo: Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty Images

While technically it’s the leaf of the Venus Flytrap that’s badass, this plant does indeed flower and the flower is manly by association. This carnivorous plant pretty much embodies man’s core beliefs—keeping beautiful objects close and destroying things for food. It’s like the barbarian of flowers. It spends all day killing and then spends the night with a beautiful wench.

3. Meat Flower (Rafflesia)

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The Rafflesia is the ultimate man’s flower. It’s super big and like man, it doesn’t like to be tied down. You see this flower has no stems, leaves, or roots. It travels where it wants, free to sow its wild oats. The flower survives by attaching itself to vines and leeching their nutrients. Its parasitic nature is not ideal, but freedom does come at a cost.

The five-petal flower is gigantic and regarded as the largest single flower in the world. It can measure up to 39 inches in diameter and can weigh a whopping 22 pounds (making it difficult to give a bunch of these to your girlfriend).

Another feature that makes this flower man-tastic is its disgusting smell.  The flower emits a power odor that can best be described as smelling like old meat way past its best-by date. That’s why is known as "the meat flower." The odor helps attract certain insects and beetles that aid in pollination.

Any flower that smells like meat (even rotten meat) is pretty ballsy.

2. Poppy (Papaver somniferum)

Photo: George/Wikipedia

No other flower in history has caused as much bloodshed and human destruction as the poppy. If you’re not already aware, the poppy flower produces opium which is used in the manufacturing of heroin. It’s hard to fathom that a flower with such simplistic beauty has been the cause of so many wars, from the Anglo-Chinese Opium wars of the 19th century to the ongoing War on Drugs. But like it or not, destruction is very much a male trait and it is for this reason the poppy makes the list.

It also makes the list for a second reason. Since Ancient Greek and Roman times the poppy has come to symbolize sleep, death, and the idea of resurrection after death. The poppy has also come to symbolize the fallen soldiers of World War II and is worn proudly on Veteran’s Day. If it’s manly enough for our brave soldiers, then it’s got to be pretty manly.

1. Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanium)

Photo: Graham Barclay/Getty Images

The Corpse Flower is a type of carrion flower. Its Latin name is amorphophallus titanium which translates to “giant misshapen penis.” Take a quick gander at it and you’ll understand why.

This flower makes the record book for having the world’s largest flower head. It measures a staggering 10 feet in circumference. While the actual flower looks huge, it’s actually made up of many small male and female flowers.

The Corpse Flower gets its name because it’s known as the world’s smelliest flower. The Indonesian flower emits a strong, pungent odor that can best be described as smelling like rotting meat.  It also likes attention, with people around the world lining up to see them when they begin to bloom.

It truly is the alpha male of flowers.



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