A method for the synthesis of a new class of anisotropic mesostructured gold material, which we call "mesoflowers", is demonstrated. The mesoflowers, unsymmetrical at the single particle level, resemble several natural objects and are made up of a large number of stems with unusual pentagonal symmetry. The mesostructured material has a high degree of structural purity with star-shaped, nano-structured stems. The mesoflowers were obtained in high yield, without any contaminating structures and their size could be tuned from nano- to meso-dimensions. The dependence of various properties of the mesoflowers on their conditions of formation was studied. The near-infrared-infrared (NIR-IR) absorption exhibited by the mesoflowers has been used for the development of infrared filters. Using a prototypical device, we demonstrated the utility of the gold mesoflowers in reducing the temperature rise in an enclosure exposed to daylight in peak summer. These structures showed a high degree of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) activity compared to spherical analogues. SERS-based imaging of a single mesoflower is demonstrated. The high SERS activity and NIR-IR absorption property open up a number of exciting applications in diverse areas. © 2009 Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH.