Biggest bloom: 'World's largest' flower seen in Indonesia

A handout photo taken on Jan 2 shows a man sitting next to a giant Rafflesia tuan-mudae - a fleshy red flower with white blister-like spots on its enormous petals - measuring 111cm in diameter at the Maninjau nature reserve in Agam, West Sumatra. The
A handout photo taken on Jan 2 shows a man sitting next to a giant Rafflesia tuan-mudae - a fleshy red flower with white blister-like spots on its enormous petals - measuring 111cm in diameter at the Maninjau nature reserve in Agam, West Sumatra. The flower's bloom will last only about one week before it withers and rots. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PADANG (Indonesia) • Indonesian conservationists say they have spotted the biggest specimen ever of what has already been billed as one of the world's largest flowers.

The giant Rafflesia tuan-mudae - a fleshy red flower with white blister-like spots on its enormous petals - came in at a whopping 111cm in diameter.

That is bigger than the previous record of 107cm on a bloom also found in the jungles of West Sumatra several years ago.

"This is the largest Rafflesia tuan-mudae that has ever been documented," said Mr Ade Putra at the Agam Conservation Agency in Sumatra.

The flower's bloom will last only about one week before it withers and rots, he added.

It was named Rafflesia after British colonialist Stamford Raffles, who spotted one in Indonesia in the early 19th century.

The species grows in several South-east Asian countries, including the Philippines where a 100cm specimen was recorded.

The parasitic bloom, sometimes referred to as corpse flower, mimics the stench of rotting meat to attract insects.

Sharing that noxious smell is Indonesia's Amorphophallus titanum, a phallus-shaped flower that can reach heights of up to 3m.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2020, with the headline 'Biggest bloom: 'World's largest' flower seen in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe