In the dense forests of West Sumatra, a unique parasitic flower blooms annually. The Rafflesia tuan-mudae, also known as the corpse flower, is the largest recorded bloom of its kind with an impressive diameter of 44 inches. As it blossoms, the flower emits a pungent odor that fills the air, earning it its nickname. While there are 28 species of the Rafflesia genus, these parasitic flowers are most commonly found in Borneo and Sumatra, with the record-breaking Rafflesia tuan-mudae recently spotted in the Maninjau Natural Reserve of West Sumatra.
These unique flowers are entirely parasitic and do not have any roots or leaves. They rely solely on their hosts for sustenance and typically attach themselves to vines of the Tetrasigma genus. Interestingly, the largest recorded Rafflesia tuan-mudae bloom measured approximately 44 inches in diameter and shared the same host as the previous record holder, which was about 42 inches in diameter back in 2017. Once embedded into the host’s tissue, Rafflesias absorb water and nutrients to grow and only bloom when they have accumulated enough energy.
The Rafflesia Tuam-Mudae is a unique plant species that remains grounded and only reveals itself when its petals unfurl. Unlike other Rafflesia species that bloom on vines, the Tuam-Mudae attaches itself to the body of another plant and grows at the host’s expense. This makes them challenging to locate as they require a significant amount of energy from the host to flower. The foul stench emitted by the Rafflesia serves a crucial purpose in attracting its primary pollinators – flies. As the plant blooms infrequently and only lasts for a week, the odor is critical for its survival. It’s worth noting that while the “corpse flower” nickname is commonly associated with the Amorphophallus Titanum, which emits a similar odor, this plant is easier to cultivate and only requires adequate space in a pot to grow. Despite their off-putting scent, both of these flowers are a sight to behold if you ever have the chance to encounter them. The Rafflesia is a parasitic flower found in Southeast Asia that gives off an awful stench when it blooms.
The plant is often referred to as the “corpse flower” due to its distinctive odor.
A recent discovery of a blooming Rafflesia flower has been documented to have an impressive diameter of almost four feet, making it the largest flower ever recorded in the world.
The Amorphophallus titanum, also known as the corpse flower, is a species commonly found in botanical gardens around the world.