World’s Largest and Heaviest Flower- Rafflesia Arnoldii

Worlds largest flower – Rafflesia Arnoldii

The title of the largest individual flower on Earth goes to Rafflesia Arnoldii. This is the world’s largest, rarest and the most awful smelling flower. This fleshy red or bright orange flower with white blister-like spots on its enormous petals really looks spectacular.

Genus Rafflesia

The genus Rafflesia produces huge flowers. The smallest Rafflesias are roughly the size of dinner plates and the biggest ones are Rafflesia Arnoldii.


 The flower has five petals emerging from the base of a cup-like structure which hosts a cylindrical column with a disc. The flowers might be either male or female with anthers or styles growing underneath the disc.


 Rafflesia Arnoldii can grow to be 3 feet across and weigh up to 7- 10 kilograms! 

All flowers of Rafflesia are unisexual except Rafllesia Baletei flowers as they are bisexual.

Unisexual flowers are those flower that possesses either stamens (male reproductive structures) or carpels (female reproductive structures) but not both.

Who discovered Rafflesia?

In the early 19th Century this stunning flower was first spotted in Indonesia by an adventurer and founder of the British colony of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles and thus on his name the genus Rafflesia was named.

Rafflesia Arnoldii is a parasitic plant

Another strange fact about this flower is that is a parasitic plant without any roots, stem or leaves. It is really a monster plant. It does not contain any chlorophyll and does not photosynthesis. To grow, it derives water and essential nutrients from the host plant – Tetrastigmavine. It attaches its threads like structure to the vine to get all the nourishment to grow.

Rafflesia Arnoldii takes around 27 months to grow.

Rafflesia Arnoldii- Flower with huge center and five leathery petals.

It takes 18 months for tissue within the vine to become a small brown bud. Bud erupts without warning from that infected host vine and swells slowly over months to the size of a huge cabbage. It takes from 9 months for a bud to flower, now that’s a total of roughly 27 months! Equals to 2 years and 3 months.

Once it blooms it lasts for only 5 to 7 days. After a week it rots and turns black.

RAFFLESIA Arnoldii is the stinkiest flower

Flowers are known for their fragrance but this flower stinks. It smells like rotten meat which gets horrible from noon on the third or fourth day of the bloom till it lasts. Flowers smell beautiful to attract their pollinators like bees, butterflies, etc. but in their case, they stink to attract Carrion flies, which are their pollinators.

RAFFLESIA Arnoldii is the rarest flower

It’s a rare flower, not found everywhere. The only places where it can be found are in some rainforest of Malaysia, Sumatra, Java & Kalimantan of Indonesia, southern Thailand, and the southern Philippines.

The flowers are single-sex and need to cross-pollinated to produce seeds, but female flowers are rare and don’t often bloom in the same area or at the same time as the male flowers. If pollination is successful, the flower leaves behind a 6-inch (15 centimeters) round fruit that appeals to squirrels and tree shrews. They eat the fruit and scatter the thousands of hard, tiny seeds contained within it but only 10-20 percent continue to survive. To germinate, the seed must find its way to the host vine. 

More facts of Rafflesia Arnoldii Flower.

The seeds of the corpse flower are too tiny as compared to the size of the flower.

The distinctive five-petaled flowers appear on stamps, currency, and even bags of rice in Malaysia.

 Rafflesia Arnoldii is one of the three national flowers of Indonesia. 

The buds and blooms are considered a delicacy in Thailand, while in other parts of southeast Asia, the plant is thought to have medicinal powers. 


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