The rafflesia is the largest flower in the world and it is even more bizarre than it looks. This plant grows on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia and its flowers have a unique smell that attracts insects.
The rafflesia arnoldii is an extremely rare species of flower that grows in only one location on Earth – the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Its flowers have a unique smell that attracts insects, which can lead to its fatal consequences for those who are unlucky enough to get too close to it.
The Largest Flower in the World - Complete Info
Rafflesia arnoldii is also known as “the corpse flower” because when it blooms, its smell resembles rotting flesh and attracts carrion beetles to lay their eggs on its body.
How was Rafflesia arnoldii discovered? | Who discovered Rafflesia arnoldii?
This plant was originally discovered by Dutch botanist Arnold Henry Wallis in 1878. He was searching for a new type of orchid when he stumbled upon this strange-looking flower with a peculiar odor.
The Rafflesia has been around for millions of years, but scientists have only been able to study it for about 70 years. Scientists are still not sure what causes the flowers to grow so large, nor what causes its short life span.
Where can you find the World Largest Flower- Rafflesia arnoldii?
Rafflesia arnoldii, the largest flower in the world is found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia and has a range that extends from Burma to Vietnam. Rafflesia arnoldii is native only to Indochina.
Appearance of Rafflesia arnoldii | How does the World's largest flower look like
The plant has a unique shape, with the top of it resembling a human face and the bottom, like a spider. The flowers are deep red, with the lower lip being white or brown.
The flowers of rafflesia arnoldii have the appearance of a large flytrap with a five-lobed lip. They are about 8 inches across and have numerous tendrils at the base. It usually blooms for only one day, but can occasionally last for up to three days.
Some Lesser Known Facts about Rafflesia arnoldii
- Rafflesia does not have a specific flowering season, but it is thought that the rainy season is more favourable.
- Touching it can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction
- Rafflesia Arnoldii has a total of 28 species
- It’s an uncommon and short-lived flower. The flower takes about 9 months to bloom and can only persist for a week
- This flower does not use energy from the Sun to make its own food
How Rafflesia arnoldii gets Pollinated?
The odorous flowers attract pollinators such as carrion beetles, blowflies, and honeybees. The flower is pollinated by a combination of carrion beetles that feed on rotting flesh and blowflies that feed on decaying animal remains.
The plant does not rely exclusively on these insects, as other types of insects such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds visit the flowers.
How big is Rafflesia Arnoldii?
Rafflesia arnoldii plant is the largest known single flower on Earth, growing to 1.2 metres in diameter and covering a total area of over 4 square metres.
How does Rafflesia arnoldii smells?
The stench emitted by the plant can be detected up to two kilometres away and is said to be so powerful that it can kill small animals.
The putrid smell attracts carrion-eating insects such as carrion beetles. , which will in turn attract flies, and the resulting “death cloud” will last for days. The flower is quite unique in that it is putrid, smells like a rotting corpse, and has a sweet taste.
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