International Rafflesia Symposium to be Hosted in Bengkulu

International Rafflesia Symposium to be Hosted in Bengkulu

- in Flora
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f-1-1-RAFLESIAITS–The uniqueness of Rafflesia, the biggest flower in the world, has continued to attract  scientific communities and tourist interest around the world. To increase  the conservation effort on this giant flower, an international symposium will be hosted in Bengkulu  on September 14-16, 2015, as repored by Antara News. Rafflesia researcher from LIPI Sofi Mursidawati remarked that the speakers at the symposium are botanical experts from six countries.

For your information, there are 17 variants of the Rafflesia flower found in Southeast Asian countries, 12 of which are found in Indonesia. One of the most popular of these species is Giant Rafflesia, a member of Rafflesiaceae. Its scientific name is Rafflesia arnoldi. The Indonesian people call this plant “Bunga Bangkai” (carrion flower) “Sekedai” or “Bunga Raflesia”. In June 1990 the government labelled the giant rafflesia “a rare national flower”. This giant flower can only be found in Sumatran jungle.

This plant is biologically a parasite, has no leaf, no stem, and no roots. The plant receives food from other plants, especially from the rooted plants of the grape family (Vitaceae). The filaments of the giant rafflesia permeate into the roots of the mother-plant and then continue to grow in this manner. When the season comes, the plant grows into giant flower about 1 m in diameter, and weighs between 7-11kilograms. The sepals consist of five purple or red-brown pedals with many small pale white spots. The flower smells bad, like carrion. The flower is unisex; the female flower has no stamen, and the male has no pistil. The fruits are like berries and the seeds are spread by the insects which eat the fruit.

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