You read about an amazing plant Raffia palm in my previous post, which has the longest leaves up to 82 feet (25 meter) length. In this post, I’m telling you about Rafflesia arnoldii – the largest flower on earth which grows up to 1 meter (3 ft) diameter and weighs up to 11 Kg (24 lb).
Color of this amazing flower is reddish-brown with white spots on its petals and the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra are the natural habitat of this flower.
Rafflesia arnoldii is also known as “corpse flower” or “stinking flower” because of its characteristic odor of decaying flesh which is very strong and horrible odor. This smell attracts insects which pollinate this rare plant.
Rafflesia arnoldii is one of the three national flowers in Indonesia and noted as the biggest individual flower in the world.
It is a member of the genus Rafflesia, and it lives as a parasite on the Tetrastigma vine. Rafflesia arnoldii is considered as a vascular plant, whereas it does not have any observable leaves, stems, roots and chlorophyll.
Rafflesia arnoldii is a unisexual flower, so that proximity of male and female flowers is essential for successful pollination. On the other hand, this flower lasts for just a few days, whereas the bud takes many months to develop.
It is hence, very rare that the male and female Rafflesia arnoldii flowers find in any forest at very close distance, due to which the pollination is a rare event. And hence, the flower is also a rare flower.
Once the pollination succeed, the bud forms outside the stem of the host (sometimes outside the root of the host). The bud develops gradually to reveal the flower, which generally takes many months to develop completely and sometimes up to 1 year.
Its fruits are round in shape with lots of smooth flesh. The fruit contains thousands of hard-coated seeds. These seeds are eaten and spread by treeshrews – the small mammals.
The dark side for the existence of this amazing, rare and largest flower on earth is that the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra are almost disappear and hence this wonderful flower species is nearing extinction!
Author: Sonia Goyal Photo Source: Wikimedia
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