Rafflesia

Rafflesia
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Rafflesiales
Family:Rafflesiaceae
Genus: Rafflesia
Species
   Rafflesia arnoldi
   Rafflesia cantleyi
   Rafflesia gadutensis
   Rafflesia hasseltii
   Rafflesia keithii
   Rafflesia kerrii
   Rafflesia manillana
   Rafflesia micropylora
   Rafflesia patma
   Rafflesia pricei
   Rafflesia rochussenii
   Rafflesia schadenbergiana
   Rafflesia speciosa
   Rafflesia tengku-adlinii
   Rafflesia tuan-mudae

Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowers. It contains 18 species (including 4 incompletely known species as recognized by Meijer [1997]), all found in South-East Asia, on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra and Kalimantan, and the Philippines. The flowers have no leaves and hardly any stem, just a huge speckled 5-petaled flower with a diameter up to one meter, and weighting up to 10 kilogram. The flower smells like rotting meat, hence its local name translates to corpse flower. It is parasitic on a vine, spreading its roots inside the vine. The fruit is eaten by tree shrews.

The species Rafflesia arnoldi is the world's largest single flower. It was discovered in the Indonesian rain forest by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and Dr. Joseph Arnold in 1818.

The world's largest inflorescence is borne by Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum); its individual flowers are arranged in a spadix.


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