Friday, January 18, 2013

BLOOMING RAFFLESIA

Have you ever come across a flower which seems so unlike a flower? Rafflesia is one such flower that is found only in Malaysia. It is a genus of parasitic flowering plants. It is a huge speckled five-petaled flower with a diameter up to 106 cm, and weighing up to 10 kg., making it the world’s heaviest flower. The plant has no stems, leaves or true roots.

Rafflesia contains approximately 28 species. Species native to Malaysia include Rafflesia pricei, Rafflesia tengku-adlinii, Rafflesia keithii, and Rafflesia arnoldii. Some Malaysian species, such as R. keithii, begin blooming at night and begin to decompose only two to three days after blooming. It is the official state flower of Sabah in Malaysia. It is found along the eastern slopes of Mount Kinabalu in the Lohan Valley of Sabah. However, due to human activities, these species are getting extinct in Malaysia.

Rafflesia has no predictable blooming season and its flower can last only 6 days, tourists will need luck to see this such amazing flower at its best. While the rafflesia flower sometimes blooms in the Cameron Highlands on Peninsular Malaysia, the best place to find this exotic floral delight is in Borneo.  Flowers bloom regularly at Gunung Gading National Park in Sarawak, on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu, and in the hard-to-reach interiors of Sabah.

So next time when you visit Malaysia make sure you catch a glimpse of this extraordinary flower.




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