Rafflesia is a class of parasitic flowering plants found in south eastern Asia especially parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand and Philippines. Even though the flower looks like a fungus, it is the world’s biggest flower.
Parasitic plants normally attach themselves to the roots of trees and shrubs and do much of their growth underground. But this tropical plant Rafflesia is a good example of unseen parasitism. Rather than depending on the roots or stem of another plant, it lives entirely inside it. It spreads thin filaments through the internal tissues making it difficult to find the parasite from the host.
It is hard to believe that just a single flower measures three feet across. That is, width of a single flower would measure about a metre. The biggest flower can weigh around about 7kg. This flower takes about nine months to bloom but lasts for just a week’s time. With about 5 white and red spotted petals, it is hollow at the centre. It has got a very rotten smell that attracts the insects that pollinate it. This plant does not have any root or stem.
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