World’s Largest Flower

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If you are headed to southeast Asia anytime soon, you may want to consider visiting the World’s Largest Flower!

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Image Source ScienceNewsForKids.org

This flower, the Rafflesia, reminds me of the old movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

Apparently, there is no season to see this beautiful flower as it appears to bloom whenever it feels like it. Blooms usually only last for less than a week, so it is not a flower that is easily planned for by tourists. These extremely rare blooms, crazy enough, have no roots or leaves of any sort – the Rafflesia is actually a parasite. In order to grow, the parasite will have to infect a Tetrastigma vine, shown below, which is part of the grape family. This vine appears to be the sole host for the Rafflesia flower, making a blossom hard to come by!

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Image Source Wikipedia.org

The bloom is said to be the stinkiest of all flowers. It has a scent of bad meat, and its petals also appear to look like meat as well, to attract flies and other insects in order to transfer pollen to flowers and possible seed dispersal.

The average weight of these giant blooms is said to be about fifteen pounds, with the largest on record being twenty-two pounds! Now that is a flower!

If you would like to plan your next vacation around a possible sighting of this incredible flower, you will want to contact the Rafflesia Information Center.

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