I hadn't much knowledge base, prior to this photo and must admit I did learn quite a bit about a very ancient flower. The "Rafflesia Arnoldi" contains approximately 28 species and is not only the largest "single" flower of any flowering plant, but is also the world's largest blooms; at least in terms of weight.
The plant has no stems, leaves or true roots. It attaches itself to the host plant to obtain water and nutrients. It is an endoparasite of vines, spreading its absorptive organ, inside the tissue of the vine. The only part of the plant that can be seen outside the host vine is the petaled flower. In some species of this plant, the flower may be over 100 cm (39) inches in diameter, and weigh up to l0 kilograms (22)lbs.
The decaying flowers look and smell like rotting flesh, hence its local names which translate to "corpse flower" or "meat flower". This odor attracts insects, which transport pollen from male to female flowers.
Each mature blossom produces millions of seeds. For this plant to germinate, the seed must find its way to the host vine.
Ants, butterflies, squirrels, wild pigs and TREE SHREWS help to distribute the Rafflesia seeds.
As humans, we are a bit limited in our imaginations - for example, we'd probably never consider climbing onto the edge of a toilet seat and licking the sides.....while.....um .....employing the toilet for standard use. After enjoying the sweet fruits of the Rafflesia, the tree shrew is drawn to the sweet nectar of the "pitcher plant" - and poops into the pitcher plant while nibbling the nectar, thus spreading the Rafflesia seeds - HOLY CRAP - A MEAL AND A TOILET ALL IN ONE - WHO KNEW?
|Just one of the many unique ways to "spread the seed" |
THE "SHREW TOILET"