Amazing Rafflesia

The world’s largest flower was first discovered in Padang, Sumatra by Dr. Joseph Arnold and Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the leader of the expedition in 1818. The “great flower” weighed fifteen pounds and held six quarts of water in the nectaries, created keen interest in scientific circles in London, and the press reported the find at great length.
The flower was named Rafflesia Arnoldi.

The Rafflesia in Lojing, Kelantan, Malaysia is the second largest flower, the largest in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rafflesia is a true parasitic plant, without green parts, leaves, a stem and roots. Evolution has stripped Rafflesia of irrelevant organs, which have atrophied into functionless forms. Unable to manufacture food for itself, it lives at the expense of its host and is totally dependent on the sap produced by the liana for nourishment. It is inconspicuous until the bud appears on the host liana. The bud, which resembles a cabbage, take many months to develop, when it opens with a hissing sound.

You can see this amazing flower for yourself when you join the Rafflesia Flower Trek at Moonriver Lodge.

(Source : Rain Forests & Cloud Forests by Sandved & Emsley)


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