Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rafflesia Arnoldi (Corpse Flower)

The Rafflesia is the largest, heaviest, rarest and among the foulest smelling blooms in the world. These parasitic flowering plants produce the largest individual flowers on earth, weighing around 10 kg (22 pounds) when in full bloom and reaching a diameter of up to 1 meter (about 3 ft). These parasitic plants have no leaves or stems, but have roots that become embedded deep inside the tissues of the host plant. The plant becomes visible to the naked eye only when the buds appear on the vine. They require 9 to 12 mths to develop to the size of a large cabbage, and then into flowers. Oddly, this natural process occurs at around midnight during rainy seasons. Its traditional stink, resembling rotten flesh, is like perfume to the insect world, attracting pollinators such as bees, flies and other insects. Rafflesia flowers are red with five rough petals. The center contains a well-like structure containing a raised disc with many vertical spines. The primary and secondary rainforests of Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, southern Thailand, Borneo and southern Philippines are considered the natural habitat for this highly unusual bloom. Due to the growth of plantation, the forest areas are shrinking and scientists are urging the governments to preserve the habitat of the RafflesiaThe wonders of nature, smelly and otherwise, continue to surprise us every day...
rafflesia Indonesian Sanctuary Boasts Two Blooming Corpse Flowers  picture