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Exotic and rare corpse flower

Two giant Rafflesia flowers reach full bloom in Bengkulu

Nov 29, 2011

Two of the rare and endemic flowers of Indonesia, the Rafflesia arnoldii, have reached full bloom at the Taba Penanjung Nature Sanctuary in Central Bengkulu District, Bengkulu province. The giant flowers are located in an area about 100 meters from the main road connecting the town of Bengkulu with Kepahiang district on the island of Sumatra.

The two flowers bloomed at the same time and are located only 15 meters from each other, stated Anggi, a local resident who is said to have found the blooming flowers. "We found three flowers within a radius of 20 meters, but one has withered, and the remaining two are now in full bloom," he added.

A week earlier, a blooming Rafflesia arnoldii was also found in the Bukit Daun Nature Reserve in the Kepahiang District.

Coordinator for the Tebat Monok Rare Flowers Devoted Group (Kelompok Peduli Puspa Langka), Holidin, said that this year there are already 13 flowers found blooming within the forest area. Currently, there are approximately six flowers expected to bloom near the first two. “We estimate that there will at least be one more flower that will reach full bloom this week,” he added.

Holidin also mentioned that the Bukit Daun and Taba Penanjung I and II Nature Reserves are endemic habitat of the Rafflesia arnoldii Flower. However, just as other forests, it faces the threat of deforestation, where illegal farming activities are turning the forest into coffee fields. Holidin hopes that the government will take more serious actions to protect and preserve the forest of Sumatra, especially in Bengkulu, since the very existence of the exotic and rare Rafflesia arnoldii flowers depend on them.

Rafflesia arnoldiii is a member of the genus Rafflesia, which is noted for producing the largest individual flower on Earth, spreading a strong stench of decaying flesh - the latter point earning it the nickname of "corpse flower." Rafflesia arnoldii is one of the three national flowers in Indonesia that are officially recognized as national "rare flowers" in Presidential Decree No. 4 of 1993, the other two being the small white, sweet smelling jasmine and the resplendent white moon orchid.

The flower was first “discovered” by British Governor General Sir Stamford Raffles, to whom the rafflesia owes its name.

Two giant Rafflesia flowers reach full bloom in Bengkulu
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