This particular flower is one of the top 10 most expensive flowers in the world, with prices ranging from 5,000 to 6,500 USD per stem on the black market (equivalent to approximately 116 million to 150 million VND). The Rothschild orchid (scientifically known as Paphiopedilum rothchildianum) is native to Malaysia and is recognized as one of the world’s rarest and priciest blooms. Its value stems from its exclusivity and scarcity, with the plant being found only in a limited geographic area.
The reason why Rothschild orchids are priced so high and protected 24/7 is due to their near-extinction caused by illegal orchid traders. It’s worth noting that these flowers only bloom once every 15 years, usually between April and May, and can only be found in one location on Earth – Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia, at an altitude of 500-1200m above sea level.
The Rothschild flower, also known as the “Gold of Kanabalu,” holds a significant value and unique living characteristics. In Malaysia, it is referred to as Sumazau, named after the traditional dance in Sabah. Its petals resemble the arms of a young girl performing the Sumazau dance.
When it comes to botany, this is a fairly large species of orchid with deep green leaves that can grow up to 30-40cm in length and 4-5cm in width. The flower stem is around 30-50cm tall and each stem typically has 3-6 flowers. The flower buds can reach lengths of 4-7cm and the sepals can be up to 10-18cm long.
Not only that, while other orchid species in the same family usually have two downward-facing petals, Rothschild’s orchid has two petals that are almost horizontal, giving it a unique appearance. This distinct feature also adds to the rarity of the Rothschild’s orchid.
It is said that Rothschild orchids reproduce by attracting insects to land on their petals. The insects mistake the spots on the petals for mites, and in the process, pick up and transfer pollen from one plant to another. These rare flowers, also known as the “Gold of Kinabalu,” are now successfully cultivated and sold at a lower price. However, owning a stem of these exquisite blooms still requires a significant investment.