The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 12

Q: Rafflesia (that big huge flower-thing)

A: Repeat after me, "Rafflesia is not a carnivorous plant."

The genus Rafflesia (in the Rafflesiaceae) is a strange one. The most famous species from this group is certainly Rafflesia arnoldii. It is well known because it bears the world's biggest flower. (There are some plants with larger flowering organs, Amorphophallus titanum for example, but these are technically clusters of many flowers. Rafflesia arnoldii is the largest single flower.) I understand the flower smells very bad.

Rafflesia arnoldii is a kind of parasitic plant (more about that in a few pages) that parasitizes Tetrastigma vines. It only lives in the rain forests of Sumatra and Borneo. I do not believe that anyone has ever succeeded in coercing this plant to flower in cultivation. I do not even know if anyone has ever grown this parasite with any success at all.

To learn more, plug the word Rafflesia into your favorite web search engine. You will find plenty of photos. It is one weird plant!

Page citations: Mabberley, D.J. 1987; personal observations.

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Revised: 2018
©Barry Rice, 2018