The Udumbara is a rare flower that seems to sprout without roots, and it’s caused a lot of controversy in China.


According to legend, the flowers are supposed to come only every 3,000 years and hail the birth of a king. They symbolize purity and fertility and have significance in Buddhist and Hindu traditions.

Research has shown that although Umdumbara isn’t a myth, it also doesn’t only bloom every 3,000 years. The plant is small and hard to see, and blooms infrequently – but certainly more than once every 3,000 years.

The extremely rare and delicate white flower can also be mistaken for a blossom that’s not floral at all and actually just bug eggs.


In 2007, a farmer found what appeared to be delicate white flowers on filigree stems sprouting out of a steel spout he was cleaning.  It was later found to be only the eggs of lacewings and not the rare Udumbara flower. Lacewings lay their eggs on strands of stalks to prevent the assertive larvae from eating one another when hatched.


Rachel is a writer and tutor living in Virginia. She loves learning about other cultures and thinks we’re all a little wacky.