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    Visiting a Rafflesia

    by daddygila Written Oct 14, 2006

    Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowering plants. It contains 15-19 species (including four incompletely known species as recognized by Meijer 1997), all found in southeastern Asia, on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra and Kalimantan, West Malaysia, and the Philippines. The flowers have no leaves and hardly any stem, just a huge speckled five-petaled flower with a diameter up to 106 cm, and weighing up to 10 kg. Even the smallest species, R. manillana, has 20 cm diameter flowers. The flowers smell like rotting meat, hence its local names which translate to "corpse flower" or "meat flower". The vile smell that the flower gives off can sometimes attract flies. It is parasitic on vines in the genus Tetrastigma (Vitaceae), spreading its roots inside the vine. The fruit is eaten by tree shrews and other forest mammals. Rafflesia is an official state flower of Sabah in Malaysia

    A real Beauty

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