Plant Talk: World Biggest Flower

If the Rafflesia (inset) reminds you of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, well, that's because when the flower was found in the Indonesian rain forest by an Indonesian guide working for Dr. Joseph Arnold, the latter had named it after him. The Rafflesia is a parasitic plant, with no visible leaves, roots, or stem but its flower is considered the biggest in the world. Even then, it is only right to say that the Rafflesia arnoldii has the biggest flower in the world. The flower of Rafflesia arnoldii  may be over 100 centimetres (39 in) in diameter, and weigh up to 10 kilograms (22 lb). Other species of the Rafflesia may have smaller flowers. The Rafflesia baletei, for example, has only 12 cm diameter flowers. The flowers of Rafflesia however, all look and smell like rotting flesh and are known as corpse flower or meat flower locally.


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