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Rafflesia: Largest Flower In World, Can Grow Upto 3 Feet

Rafflesia is a five-petaled flower that is large, leathery, and speckled. It has a rotten meat odor and this is the reason that it is also famous by the name of “corpse flower” among locals.

Shikha Parewa
Rafflesia: Largest Flower In World
Rafflesia: Largest Flower In World

The word "Rafflesia" may sound strange to some, but not to the people who live in South East Asia. This is the world's largest flower, which is exclusively found in Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, and Kalimantan in Indonesia, southern Thailand, and the Southern Philippines.

Rafflesia is a five-petaled flower, which is large, leathery, and speckled. It has a rotten meat odor and this is the reason, that it is also famous by the name of “Corpse Flower” among locals.

Do you have any idea who discovered this unique flower? Well, this amazing flower was discovered by Louis Dechamps in Java (Indonesia) between 1791-1794. This world's largest flower was named after Thomas Stamford Raffles who was an adventurer & founder of the British colony Singapore.

Unique Quality of Rafflesia

It is quite interesting to know that this huge Rafflesia flower does not have its own roots or stems. To receive water and nutrients, it attaches itself to a host plant, Tetra stigma vine, which thrives only in undisturbed rain forests.

It takes around 18 months for vine tissue to develop into a small brown bud. It takes 6-9 months for the bud to mature into the size of a cabbage. For the next few hours, the brown leaves of the cabbage-like bud begin to open. That's around 27 months. This equates to two years and three months.

If we talk about its smell, you will be amazed to know that it gives a kind of rotten smell which is due to a reddish tentacle-like structure within the corolla of petals. Each mature Rafflesia blossom can produce millions of seeds, but only 10-20% will survive. The seed must find its way to the host vine in order for this plant to germinate.

Rafflesia was once considered to be pollinated by elephants; however, it is really pollinated by the Calliphora vicina and Lucilia caesar, both of which are known as blowflies. These two species are elephant parasites.

This flower is a popular tourist attraction, and there are many people, who expect to see one while traveling around Southeast Asia. Although there is not a direct impact of the flower on the ecosystem, the cash generated by this fascinating species, that allows funding to be directed toward the preservation of the area.

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