'World's largest' flower spotted in Indonesia

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 03 2020 06:56 PM

This handout picture taken on January 2, 2020 and released on January 3 by the Sumatra Barat Nature Conservation Agency (BKSDA) shows a giant Rafflesia tuan-mudae -- a fleshy red flower with white blister-like spots on its enormous petals and measuring a whopping 111 centimeters in diameter at the Maninjau nature preserve in Agam, West Sumatra. Handout, West Sumatra BKSDA via AFP

PADANG, Indonesia - Indonesian conservationists say they've spotted the biggest specimen ever of what's 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 111 centimeters in diameter.

That's bigger than the previous record of 107 centimeters 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 Ade Putra at the Agam Conservation Agency in Sumatra.

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

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

The species grows in several Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines where a 100-centimeter 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 three meters (10 feet).