What is Rafflesia?

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What is Rafflesia? Blog Image


Most species of the famously large Rafflesia flower are now at risk of extinction, new research warned recently.

About Rafflesia

  • Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowering plants native to Southeast Asia.
  • These plants are renowned for producing the largest individual flowers in the world, both in terms of size and weight.
  • They are often referred to as "corpse flowers" due to their foul odour.
  • Distribution: They inhabit specialised localities in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, southern Thailand and the Philippines.
  • There are 42 known species of Rafflesia, and the most famous species within this genus is Rafflesia arnoldii.
  • Features:
    • They are massive and can reach up to 3 feet (almost 1 meter) in diameter and weigh up to 7 kg.
    • Parasitic Lifestyle:
      • They are parasitic, meaning they do not have leaves, stems, or roots like traditional plants.
      • Instead, they depend on a host vine called Tetrastigma for nutrients and support.
      • Rafflesia's only visible part is the flower.
    • Limited Blooming Period: They have a short blooming period, often lasting only a few days to a week.


Q1) What is a Parasite?

A parasite is an organism that lives on or inside another organism, known as the host, and derives its sustenance from the host's body. In the process, parasites often harm the host to varying degrees. Parasitism is a form of symbiotic relationship, where one organism benefits (the parasite) while the other is harmed (the host). Parasites can be found in various biological kingdoms, including animals, plants, and microorganisms.

Source: This is 'world's largest flower' but only for a while because…