World's Largest Flower
Largest flower in the world; born in Estado Veracruz, México.
Río Blanco, Veracruz. Something unusual happened in this town in the high mountans in the center zone of the State of Veracruz with the apparition of the plant listed as the largest flower of the planet.
The largest flower in the world was born in Río Blanco, Veracruz, México. Two meters high and weighing 75 kilos.
The plant enters a dormant phase of several months after a leaf senesces, before sending up a replacement leaf and growing a new root system. Leaves are hysteranthous: flowers are borne by otherwise dormant plants. The timing of dormancy and growth phases seems to be more or less random with respect to the seasons; wild populations are reported to have plants in various stages of growth at any given time. It is unclear why the plants ever go dormant at all, given their equatorial habitat.
There are 16 species of rafflesia, found in Sumatra, Malaysia and Borneo. The species is named after the naturalist Sir Stamford Raffles, who founded the British colony of Singapore in 1819. Raffles discovered the parasitic plant with his friend Dr. Joseph Arnold during their travels in May 1818. The rafflesia arnoldi is named after the two.
Several species of Rafflesia grow in the jungles of Southeast Asia, all of them threatened or endangered. Not only is it the world’s largest flower, it is one of the most bizarre and improbable organisms on the planet.
It produces no leaves, stems or roots but lives as a parasite on the Tetrastigma vine, which grows only in primary (undisturbed) rainforest. Only the flower or bud can be seen; the rest of the plant exists only as filaments within its unfortunate host. The blossom is pollinated by flies attracted by its scent.
However fascinating and beautiful the rafflesia arnoldi may be, it is also called “corpse flower” and really reeks, the latter to attract flies for pollination.
As Rafflesia is one of the rarest plants on earth, people started to study them since 1929. They tried to cultivate the plant artificially, as the plant takes 9 to 21 months until a bud flowers - only to last for less than a week. But all the experiments ended in failure.
Titan arum is also the native of rainforests of Sumatra. Titan arum belongs to the family Araceae. Titan arum is also called as Corpse flower due to its rotten flesh smell when the flower is in bloom. The Titan arum plant can reach to a height of 7 to 12 feet and weigh 170 pounds. In Indonesia its called as bunga bangkai.
In Titan arum, both male and female flowers grow in the same inflorescence at the base of the spadix. The female flowers open first, then in a day or two the male flowers open. This prevents the flower from self-pollinating. In Titan Arum the spathe is green outside and dark burgundy red inside, and is deeply furrowed. The spadix is hollow, and pale yellow. The upper, visible portion of the spadix is covered in pollen, while its lower extremity is spangled with bright red-orange carpels. When the Titan arum reaches full bloom, the spadix collapses from its own weight and the spathe withers away, possibly never to bloom again. In the wild, the leaf can reach 20 feet tall and 15 feet across.
"rafflesia." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 14 Jul. 2009 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.
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