April 6, 2010

What's Huge, Pretty, and Smells Like a Corpse?

The Rafflesia arnoldii is the biggest flower in the world!

So it’s really too bad that it smells almost exactly like a rotting body. In fact, this flower stinks so much, the Rafflesia arnoldii is nicknamed the “corpse flower.”

Another weird about this rare flower is that it has no leaves, roots, or stem. It just blossoms through the decaying root of trees. Then it grows as large as three feet wide, and starts stinking up the joint!

Look (or smell!) for it next time you’re hiking in the islands of southeast Asia.
Photos from here and here.

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