Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Rafflesia Patma flower at Bogor Botanical Garden

At the beginning of year 2014, the rare flower of Rafflesia Patma is blooming at Bogor Botanical Garden West Java, Indonesia. It is the 7th flowers since 2010 and one of the three national flowers in Indonesia, the other two being the white jasmine and moon orchid. It was officially recognized as a national "rare flower".

Rafflesia Patma at Bogor Botanical Garden

There are about 30 species of Rafflesia that have been found in the world,  Rafflesia Patma is one of the 15 species of Rafflesia found in Indonesia.  Rafflesia Patma is a member of the genus Rafflesia. It is noted for producing the largest individual flower on earth.  The flower of Rafflesia Patma grows to a diameter of around 38 centimeter. The buds take many months to develop and the flower lasts for just a few days. There are around 5 buds still wait to bloom.

Rafflesia Patma Blume
It lives as a parasite on the Tetrastigma vine, which grows only in primary rainforests.  Rafflesia is rare and fairly hard to locate. It is especially difficult to locate the flower in forests. There are only 3 places you could see this flower, i.e.: Bogor botanical garden, Cagar Alam Pananjung, Pangandaran  and Cagar Alam Leuweung Sancang, Garut.

Rafflesia lacks any observable leaves, stems or even roots, yet is still considered a vascular plant. Similar to fungi, individuals grow as thread-like strands of tissue completely embedded within and in intimate contact with surrounding host cells from which nutrients and water are obtained. This plant produces no leaves, stems or roots and does not have chlorophyll. It can only be seen when it is ready to reproduce. Perhaps the only part of Rafflesia that is identifiable as distinctly plant-like are the flowers; although, even these are unusual since they attain massive proportions, have a reddish-brown coloration.

Rafflesia Flower information board

It has a very strong and horrible odor of decaying flesh, earning it the nickname "corpse flower".  The stink scent attracts insects such as flies which then pollinate the rare plant. The flowers are unisexual and thus proximity of male and female flowers is vital for successful pollination. These factors make successful pollination a rare event.  The 6th flowers have been bloomed at Bogor, 5 ones were a female and other was male.


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