Indonesia: New habitat of Rafflesia arnoldii found in Bengkulu

Antara 23 Dec 16;

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - A new habitat of the worlds largest flower Rafflesia arnoldii has been found recently in the forest of Manau IX Village, Kaur District, Bengkulu Province.

Coordinator of Pemuda Padang Guci Peduli Puspa Langka Youth Community Noprianto said here on Friday that a blooming Rafflesia arnoldii was found with several decomposed ones by the River Pengambiran, in Manau IX Village, Padang Guci Hulu Subdistrict.

"The flower has a diameter of 80 cm," Noprianto said.

The new habitat is a one hour walk from the Cawang Kidau Dam in Padang Guci Hulu.

The local community has also mapped the habitat of the flower, which is also dubbed as the corpse flower due to its foul odor, in the local forest.

More than three spots, which are being developed as natural tourism destinations, have been identified as the habitat for Rafflesia arnoldii and Raflesia bengkuluensis in the region.

Rafflesia arnoldii is one of four rafflesia species found in Bengkulu. The other three are Rafflesia bengkuluensis, Rafflesia gadutensis, and Rafflesia hasselti.

The plant, found in the Southeast Asian forest, is parasitic and has no stems, leaves or true roots. Most of the time it lives unobserved inside the woody stems and the roots of its host. Rafflesia arnoldii becomes visible when its plump buds emerge through the bark of its host and develop into large, fleshy flowers that are pollinated by carrion-flies.

Reporting by Helti Marini Sipayung

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