Skeleton Flower Turns Translucent When It Rains

The Diphylleia grayi is known as the “skeleton flower” because its petals become translucent when wet, exposing its “skeleton.”


The Diphylleia grayi is a beautiful flower with pearly white petals that turn crystal clear when it rains. Upon contact with water, the flower’s veins and nerves are exposed. These thin white lines bear an uncanny resemblance to bones, which is why the Diphylleia grayi is also known as the “skeleton flower.”

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The skeleton flower generally grows on moist, wooded mountainsides in colder regions of Japan, China, and the Appalachian Mountains in the United States. While the plant is perennial—and can grow to a height of 15.7 inches (40 cm)—the flowers come out in late spring, revealing their large, green leaves that are shaped like small umbrellas, topped with small clusters of gentle, white petals.

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During light rain showers, the flowers slowly lose their white pigmentation and turn completely translucent. When once again dry, the blooms magically return to their original state.

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