A Close Up views of the newest blooming of Rafflesia Arnoldii Flower From Bengkulu-Indonesia

This is the newest bloom of Rafflesia Arnoldii flower in Indonesia. This flower is starting to bloom on November 9th and estimated to last on November 14th 2011. This time the size of the flower is much smaller than October blooms which is 100 cm diameter, this flower is only 80 cm diameter. It also from different spot of the previous bloom, separated about 50 m. The location of this flower is about 300m down the jungle from the asphalted road 52 km from the city of Bengkulu in the Bukit Daun Protected Forest of Bengkulu Indonesia.
In this post, I treat the uploaded images a little bit different in size. They are using 1024x768 pixel rather than i usually use the 640x480 pixel, so maybe it will affect the speed page when viewing this post.

In this post, i will show you my beloved readers with a close up view of Rafflesia arnoldii in order to make you feel how amazing of this flower the same like i do (except for the smell of course, i cannot show you that :D), and hope that maybe some botanist reader will put an attention about the future of this plant. It is really, in extremely dangerous extinction.

Rafflesia arnoldii is a typical parasitic flower. It has no visible leaves, roots, or stem. It survives by attaching itself to a host plant (the Tetrastigma vine) and leeching water and nutrients. As the plant blooms, its flowers burst through the bark of the host plant root.

The picture below show the close up view of perigone lobe, diaphragm, windows, disk and processes. You can see also that there are two actors of the pollination - the flies, which attracted to come to the flower because of the foul smell of rotting meat from inside of the flower.

The flesh of the perigone lobe is reddish brown and ornamented whit white warts. Its thick and rigid.

Flesh of perigone lobe
The image below is the aperture of diaphragm. Diaphragm is the half upper part of the perigone tube Most of inner surface of perigone tube is occupied by the induments or glandular hairs called ramenta. It is ramenta which responsible for the unpleasant aroma of this beautiful flower which produced from ramenta's special compound recipe to attract flies to come.

Ramenta occupy the most part of inner perigone tube

Flies attracting to enter the perigone tube because of foul smell from ramenta

On the upper part of the tube near the diaphragm aperture, the hairs are being replaced by white dots, called windows. Well, for me it still leave me with the curiosity why the botanist called it windows as i do not see any window in there. According to botanist, these windows were believed to be resemblance of clouds in the sky to trick or guide flies out of the tube after they spent some time in there pollinating the flower.

In the middle of the tube lies central column with projectiles on top of the disc. Many inexperienced naturalists mistakenly identify these projectiles as styles but these are not. Acting as heat dissipitating surface, it was called processes by botanists and have nothing to do with styles which was reduced and appears as a sticky ring beneath the disc.

"Hey, i got a full disk of processes'
The close up view of processes is shown below. Well, i don't understand either why the botanist called it processes. This word is plural of process, so, the thing resembles beautiful fairy tower is called process.

Fly  flies through the process

Well, it is embarassing that the journey to the inner part of Rafflesia arnoldii has to end before we enter the most important part of Rafflesia arnoldii flower - the pollination part. It is lies below the disk, and i do not have a special camera to capture it, neither it is not allowed to dissect the blooming Rafflesia arnoldii flower. 

Instead, i add some images of the host plant of Rafflesia arnoldii- the tetrastigma. Tetrastigma is a genus of plants in the grape family, Vitaceae. The plants are vines that climb with tendrils and have palmately compound leaves.

The leaves of tetrastigma - the solely host of Rafflesia Arnoldii
Tetrastigma new branch from an old tetrastigma tree

The new bulb of Rafflesia arnoldii only takes place on the root of tetrastigma

Not all the new bulb of Rafflesia arnoldii succeeded to grow to a flower. One spot in Rafflesia arnoldii habitat at Bukit Daun Protected Forest of Bengkulu Indonesia is known to be the failed spot of rafflesia arnoldii. Even there are many new rafflesia arnoldii bulb those emerge around a tetrastigma plant on that spot, they all failed to grow to a blossom flower. The disease of Rafflesia arnoldii is not known until now. It is elongated the list of unknown thing about Rafflesia arnoldii.

The appearance of diseased bulb.

Inner part of diseased bulb

The mistery of rafflesia arnoldii is still abundant even it has been discovered for about two centuries now. For me. even i live in Bengkulu, i never heard anyone see rafflesia arnoldii seed which resulted from the pollination.  Only i have seen is the seed of titan arum, another giant flower from Bengkulu Indonesia. You may try surfing the google to find the image of rafflessia arnoldii seed. Can you find it?. Is it true that the rafflesia arnoldii produce seed?. Is it true that rafflesia arnoldii parasite?. Why only tetrastigma can be the host?. Well, i am not a botanist, so i leave to the reader to explore more about rafflesia arnoldii - the largest flower in the world.

copyright 2011 Nurul Iman Supardi
e-mail: nurulimanunib@gmail.com
Bengkulu - Indonesia

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  1. Wow.. This is great. Amazing flower in the world. It will be world 7 wonder in flowers/flora categories.

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