World’s weirdest and biggest parasitic flower

Deep in the jungles of Southeast Asia blooms the world’s biggest flower, Rafflesia arnoldii also known as the giant padma. It is also called corpse flower because of its unpleasant odour or smell like a decaying corpse. This bizarre flower called Rafflesia could be visible seen only once in many months and its giant bloom lasts only a few days only.

It is basically a parasitic plant with is a massive fleshy orb designed by nature to attract insects by mimicking the colour and stretch of decomposing meat. This flower was first seen by European French explorer Louis Auguste Deschamps. This blossom is named after British Colonialist Sir Stamford Raffles who stumbled on one in Borneo in 1818.

Till now around 28 varieties of the Rafflesia species varying in shape and size have been discovered by the biologists and researchers.
This flower is considered as one among the three flowers, the other two being Moon Orchid and White Jasmine as the national flowers in Indonesia. This giant rare flower has officially documented as the national “rare flower” by Indonesia.

These strange flowers never do the process of photosynthesis to get their nutrition. The initial buds of this flower looks like dark and brown cabbage sprouting from the ground but When full bloomed, the diameter of the flower could go around 3 feet with the weight up to 11 kilograms.

Though rare to be found, these flowers are under threat from Deforestation and harvesting. However, under an innovative Malaysian scheme, indigenous tribes who once gathered Rafflesia buds by the sack load are being trained as custodians of the rare flowers, and asked to act as guides for eco tourists. This proposal has brightened the prospects of the plant which grows only at few forests and rainforests specifically in some parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

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