World’s Largest Flower

Rafflesia: Largest flower in the world
Rafflesia: Largest flower in the world

Rafflesia arnoldi has the largest single flower of any plant in the world, measuring up to a metre across and weighing a whopping 10kg!

The flower was discovered in an Indonesian jungle by Dr Joseph Arnold in 1818 and is named after Arnold and the leader of the expedition, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.

Rafflesia is a parasitic plant that has no leaves, stem or roots! It extends a tube-like organ into the tissues of vines from which it obtains its nutrients.

Only the flower remains outside of the host vine and is distinctive not only for its giant size, but also for the smell of rotting flesh that it gives off. As it resembles dead meat in looks and in smell, the plant is sometimes called the ‘corpse flower’. Flies are attracted to the smell and help to pollinate the flowers.

The flower can be found in the rainforests of central and southern Thailand and is the state flower of Surat Thani province.