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Friday, 15-Oct-2004 00:00
Rafflesia
Have you ever seen a Rafflesia? I mean live.. This is way back in December 2001 when I went to Tenom, Sabah for visit. The world?s biggest flower. It lies near the Crocker Range. The Rafflesia is a parasitic plant that is hidden within its host, the stems of the jungle vines, until it bursts into bloom and grows up to 1m in diameter.

An article note from www.sabahtravelguide.com
The Rafflesia - The World's Largest Flower

The genus Rafflesia is named after adventurer and founder of the British colony of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles. After a jungle expedition in Sumatra (Indonesia) in 1821-22 Raffles and Dr Joseph Arnold, a young accompanying assistant surgeon in the Navy with a passion for natural history discovered and described the genus for the first time. Dr Arnold is memorialised in the specific name of the form that bears the world's largest flower: Rafflesia arnoldii.

There are about 20 described species of Rafflesia, some only discovered as recently as 1988. They are found on peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand, on Borneo Island, in restricted areas of the Philippines and in Sumatra.

Unfortunately, the largest and heaviest flower of our times is also the rarest flower in the world. It is a parasite with very particular requirements, and flowers only burst open after 9 – 21 months to last a maximum of five days. Collection by indigenous people for mystical and medical potions and the current rate of habitat destruction don’t necessarily help in promulgating the amazing plant.

read more at http://www.sabahtravelguide.com

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