Rafflesia Arnoldi

October 23, 2013

... is the world's largest flower.

It weighs 7 kg (15 pounds) and grows only on the Sumatra island of Indonesia. Its petals grow to meter (1,6 feet) long and 2,5 cm (1 inch) thick. The species is named after the naturalist and humanitarian Sir Stamford Raffles, who founded the British colony of Singapore in 1819. Raffles discovered the parasitic plant with his friend Dr. Joseph Arnold (an English Botanist) at Pulau Lebar in Sumatra during their travels in May 1818. The rafflesia arnoldi is named after the two.

its family: Rafflesiaceae

Although technically, a member of the plant kingdom, Rafflesia challenges traditional definitions of what a plant is because they lack chlorophyll and are therefore incapable of photosynthesis. Pollination of Rafflesia has been studied but is likely a rare due to the several factors. The flower is uni sexual and single sites usually produce either male or female flowers. Therefore, inorder to have effective pollination (reproduction), male flowers must be in close proximity to, and open at the same time as female flowers so that flies or any other insect can transfer pollen.

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