What is the largest flower in the world?
Why the largest flower in the world is also the smelliest...
This accolade of the largest flower in the world belongs to Rafflesia arnoldii, which grows on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo and can grow up to 1m in diameter.
It’s also the smelliest plant in the world – hence the nickname ‘corpse flower’. One drawback of being a rare plant hidden deep in a forest, flowering once in a blue moon, is that it’s hard for pollinators to find you.
What better way, then, to attract flies than to smell like a corpse? Rafflesia is a parasitic plant that spends its entire life-cycle hidden inside tropical lianas and only sporadically advertising its presence by producing its huge flower, which releases the disgusting aroma of rotting meat. It even has the visual and tactile qualities of bloody, wrinkled flesh.
Delicious – if you’re a fly!
Main image: Rafflesia arnoldii © Getty Images
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