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Rafflesia facts for kids

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Rafflesia sumatra.jpg
Rafflesia arnoldii flower and bud
Scientific classification

Rafflesia is a genus of flowering plants. They are found in southeastern Asia, on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Thailand and the Philippines. They are the biggest single flowers in the world. In one species the flowers can be over a meter (three feet) across.

The flowers smell like a dead animal, which attracts flies. The flies, which normally lay their eggs on rotten flesh, pollinate the Rafflesia when they get inside.

Rafflesia is a parasite, and does not use chlorophyll. The plant has no stem, leaves or true roots. It lives inside vines of the genus Tetrastigma (Vitaceae). It spreads its absorptive organ, the haustorium, inside the tissue of the vine. The only part of the plant that can be seen outside the host vine is the flower.

  • Jamili Nais 2001. Rafflesia of the world. Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Parks. ISBN: 983-812-042-1

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