Transforms to flower, at around midnight in rainy seasons. Rafflesia flower is the largest and heaviest single flower in the world and have a stink of rotten flesh. Hence, it is also known as corpse flower or meat flower. Rafflesia flowers are red in color with five leathery and speckled petals. These flowers can have a diameter of up to one meter and can have a weight of around 7 to 11 kilograms.
There is even more to tell of its ‘discovery’ and its claim to fame as the largest flower on earth. In the year 1818, Sir Stamford Raffles was posted as Governor to Bencoolen in Sumatra which was then, the administrative centre for the British East India Company for Western Sumatra. Raffles’s interest in natural sciences was insatiable.
Rafflesia are endemic to Southeast Asia recorded 17 known species, the Rafflesia flowers have been found only in Indonesia – Sumatra and Java, Malaysia, including Borneo island and south Thailand. Rafflesias have small, brownish, scale like leaves and fleshy, foul-smelling flowers of various sizes from few inches to meter big in diameter. Rafflesia classified as parasite, which means it just takes the nutrient out of its host.
The Rafflesia can be found at altitudes of between 500 and 700 meters in the forests of Malaysia, Southern Thailand, Sumatra and Java in Indonesia. In these tropical rainforests, the climate is continuously warm and humid, with very high humidity. The Rafflesia is rare and fairly hard to locate. It is especially difficult to see in bloom; the buds take up to 10 months to develop and the blossom lasts for just a few days. However, how many these strange plants are survived in primary rainforest is still unknown.
Raffles Hotel is a colonial-style hotel in Singapore, and one of the world’s most famous hotels. The hotel was established by the famous Armenian Sarkies Brothers. Opened in 1887, it was named after Singapore’s founder Sir Stamford Raffles