Gigantic Blossom: Nearly 4ft Wide, Emitting Odor Of Decay, Flourishes In Indonesian Rainforest – Amazing Nature

In the heart of West Sumatra’s dense forest, a peculiar parasitic flower blooms as the year comes to a close. With a staggering diameter of 44 inches, the Rafflesia tuan-mudae is the largest recorded bloom of its kind, also known as the corpse flower due to its pungent odor that fills the air as it blossoms. Among the 28 species of the Rafflesia genus, these parasitic flowers are most commonly found in Borneo and Sumatra, with the record-breaking Rafflesia spotted in the Maninjau Natural Reserve of West Sumatra.

These flowers, devoid of roots or leaves, survive solely as parasites that feed on their hosts, typically vines of the Tetrastigma genus. Interestingly, the largest Rafflesia tuan-mudae bloom also uses the same host as the previous record holder, which measured about 42 inches in diameter back in 2017. After embedding themselves into the host’s tissue, Rafflesias absorb water and nutrients to grow, and eventually bloom only when they’ve garnered enough energy.

Unlike other Rafflesia species that bloom in vines hanging from the air, the Rafflesia tuan-mudae is grounded, announcing its presence only when its petals unfurl. “Rafflesias attach to the body of another and grow at the expense of that plant,” explains biologist Ross Koping. “They can’t flower until they’ve gotten enough energy from the host, so these plants flower very rarely, and you have to hunt them.”

The notorious stench of the Rafflesia is meant to attract flies, their primary pollinators, and is vital for the plant’s survival as they bloom infrequently, and the flower lasts for only a week before it wilts. While the corpse flower nickname is fitting for the Rafflesia, the more common species that share the name are the Amorphophallus titanum. These plants, although distantly related, emit a similar odor but are more accessible to cultivate, requiring only adequate space in a pot to grow. Despite their gruesome scent, both of these flowers are a spectacle to behold if you ever chance upon them.

The Rafflesia is a parasitic flower found in Southeast Asia that gives off an awful stench when it blooms.

This has earned it the nickname of “corpse flower.”

One recent bloom was measured at nearly 4 feet in diameter, making it the world’s largest recorded flower.

Another type of corpse flower, Amorphophallus titanum, can be found in botanical gardens around the world.

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