RAFFLESIA FLOWER (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     22nd September 2023        
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Context: Most species of the famously large Rafflesia flower are now at risk of extinction, new research warned recently.

Rafflesia Flower

  • About: This is a genus of parasitic flowering plants native to Southeast Asia.

o These plants are renowned for producing the largest individual flowers in the world, both in terms of size and weight.

  • Also Known as: Corpse flowers due to their foul odor.
  • Distribution: Tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, southern Thailand and the Philippines.
  • Species: 42 known species of Rafflesia, and the most famous species within this genus is Rafflesia arnoldii.
  • Features: They are massive and can reach up to 3 feet (almost 1 meter) in diameter and weigh up to 7 kg.

o Parasitic Lifestyle: They do not have leaves, stems, or roots like traditional plants.

ü They depend on a host vine called Tetrastigma for nutrients and support.

o Limited Blooming Period: They have a short blooming period, often lasting only a few days to a week.

  • IUCN Status: Critically Endangered