Rafflesia arnoldii Facts
- Rafflesia arnoldii represents the plant with the largest known single bloom on earth. Its common name is the Corpse Flower.
- That’s because it typically generates a very strong smell usually considered to be akin to that of rotting meat to attract insects.
- In fact, Rafflesia is actually a parasitic plant which attaches itself to a single species of vine. It then draws its nutrients from its host plant.
- Interestingly, it also now represents one of the three national flowers of the country of Indonesia, in Asia.
- It has also been officially recognized as a rare flower within that country.
Rafflesia arnoldii Physical Description
The rather rare Rafflesia arnoldii is extremely difficult to locate in the forests. The buds take many months to grow, and the blooms open for only a few days.
Its bloom sometimes reaches a diameter of as much as 3 ft (1 m). The colors include maroon and magenta.
The flowers are unisexual, thus they need both male and female flowers in proximity to their location to reproduce. This is a primary reason for their scarcity.
Species: R. arnoldii
Rafflesia arnoldii Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
It is believed by many to be in serious danger of extinction due to the rapid destruction of the Sumatran rainforest, its only known habitat.
For successful pollination to occur, the flies that their scent attracts must visit first a male flower and then a female flower – in that order only.
Conservation efforts are being considered. However, the rapid deforestation of the region makes any attempts difficult.