10 Facts About Rafflesia Arnoldii And Rare Flowers Smelling Bad

Edited by admin on Feb 02, 2019


RAFFLESIA arnoldii, this rare exotic plant has many uniqueness. It has no leaves, roots, or stems as in general and lives on the host plant. Plants that are also often referred to as “carrion flower” because of its rotten smell is found by Stamford Raffles and his colleagues. James Arnold in 1818.

This Southeast Asian forest parasite broke the record as a plant 106.7 centimeters in diameter and weighs 11 kilograms, with lobes like an inch thick petals. This flower basically resembles a pot flanked by five red brick petals with white spots. At a glance the shape and color can invite the insects to help the pollination process. Unfortunately the rarest plant in the world is threatened with extinction.

There are two varieties of Rafflesia arnoldii found in the wild, both endemic to Indonesia. R. arnoldii var. arnoldi is found in the Indonesian archipelago in Kalimantan and Sumatra. R. arnoldii var. atjehensis is found in northern Sumatra that is different from the previous varieties that lost the rare parts in the main column.

1. An uncertain period of bloom

No one can predict when Rafflesia arnoldii will bloom. Some say after heavy rains. Another opinion says, if the month ends in “er”. But some say in July. It takes about nine months for flowers to bloom and lasts only a week. Only the lucky ones can witness their beauty.

2. Have a bad smell

This foul smell is favored by flies and other insects to alight because they think it is the smell of rotten meat. This is a way of Rafflesia to survive. Although flies or insects do not benefit from the flower, as they sit, the pollen sticks to their backs. When these flies migrate to female flowers, they store pollen on this flower, allowing fertilization to occur. The resulting fruit is small and fleshy with thousands of seeds. The fruit is consumed by shrews trees, which then help spread the seeds of the plant. Since Rafflesia is a rare and unisexual plant, it is very rare that a fly sitting on a male flower and carrying pollen from the flower will sit with a female flower to transfer the pollen to the female for fertilization.

3. The name of Rafflesia arnoldii

The inventor of the Rafflesia arnoldii plant is the English botanist. James Arnold (1782-1818) statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles (1781-1826) in 1818. Arnold contracted a fever and died shortly after the discovery. Naming the invention to honor both.

4. Includes Indonesian National Interest

Rafflesia arnoldii is considered as one of Indonesia’s national flower. This warning is set every January 9th as the day of appointment as national interest.

5. Rafflesia arnoldii candle statue

For years, Rafflesia has fascinated humans with its gigantic size and terrible smell. Since these floral appearances are rare and last only a few days after bloom, many explorers, botanists, and tourists are curious to see these flowers. Until finally made a model of flower candles on display at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.

Currently, Rafflesia arnoldii is considered one of the most endangered plant species on earth. Some Rafflesia species, such as Rafflesia magnifica, are even classified as “critically endangered” by the International Society for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The small range of distribution of these species and the destruction of the Rafflesia habitat are the two main factors driving this species to extinction. Although environmentalists have tried to grow Rafflesia in a controlled and protected environment, such efforts are largely unsuccessful. Some private properties in Indonesia have Rafflesia growing within the confines of the property. Such property owners are encouraged by the government to save interest and flaunt it to the public by charging for the sightings.

6. Unbalanced numbers of males and females

Rafflesia’s male plants are larger than females, this large disproportion is also a disadvantage for the spread of this species, as there is limited possibility for males and females to bloom and be found close enough at the same time, so pollination may occur.

7. Distribution of species

Rafflesia arnoldii has at least 20 species of species in the world. Indonesia and Malaysia each have eight species. The rest is spread in Thailand and the Philippines.

8. Rare and endangered

Currently, Rafflesia arnoldii is considered one of the most endangered plant species on earth. Some Rafflesia species, such as Rafflesia magnifica, are even classified as “critically endangered” by the International Society for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The small range of distribution of these species and the destruction of the Rafflesia habitat are the two main factors driving this species to extinction. Although environmentalists have tried to grow Rafflesia in a controlled and protected environment, such efforts are largely unsuccessful. Some private properties in Indonesia have Rafflesia growing within the confines of the property. Such property owners are encouraged by the government to save interest and flaunt it to the public by charging for the sightings.

9. Plant parasites

Rafflesia arnoldii is a parasitic plant, with no roots, leaves, or stems. The main part of the plant is inside the host plant. The only visible part is the flower, which breaks through the skin of the host plant as a compact bud, and then the fruit. The flowers are 1 m in diameter, and the flesh is reddish brown with white spots.

10. The usefulness of Rafflesia arnoldii

Flower buds are applied in traditional medicine for labor and recovery during and after childbirth. They are also used as aphrodisiacs or drugs that can increase libido. The possibility of this use is attributed to the shape, color and size of the bud, and superstitions around the flower, and not related to any chemical nature.