Rafflesia arnoldii

Sheri Ann Richerson

The largest flower in the world comes from a leafless plant from Mayla known as Rafflesia arnoldii.

This magnificiently colourful flower is both strange and baffling.

Each flower produces just one seed and this seed can only germinate if it succeeds in lodging itself in the tissue of one particular cissus vine host known as Tetrastigma, which usually crawls along the rainforest floors.

The sighting of this flower in it’s natural habitat depends on a combination of planning, keeping in touch with people in the know, and a big batch of luck.

The plant is commonly called the “stinking corpse lily.”

It has also comonly been dubbed the “giant panda of the plant world” because this rare and endangered species only naturally grows in the rain forests of Sumatra and Borneo in the Malay Archipelago.