What is the largest flower in the world?

May 7, 2008 / 17 Comments

For no special reason I asked myself today what is the largest flower in the world? Kids usually ask such questions so better be prepared …

rafflesia arnoldii What is the largest flower in the world?
image copyright mark.ringrose

So, back to the answer, the biggest flower in the world is Rafflesia arnoldii a very rare flower that can be found in the rainforests of Indonesia. It has the world’s largest bloom, that can grow up to 3 feet across and may weigh up to 15 pounds, has no visible leaves, roots or stem.

Rafflesia arnoldii is actually a parasite that attaches to a host plant for water and nutrients and while in bloom emits an odor similar to rotten meat. This is how it attracts insects that pollinate the plant.

rafflesia arnoldii largest flower What is the largest flower in the world?

The dramatic Rafflesia flowers are the largest single flowers in the world; the leathery petals can reach over 90 centimetres across. The Rafflesia plant is itself not visible until the reproduction stage when flowers first bud through the woody vine and then open into the magnificent spectacle that is world-renowned today.

The flowers can take up to 10 months to develop from the first visible bud to the open bloom, which may last no more than a few days. Species of Rafflesia are known from peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, southern Thailand, Borneo and southern Philippines.

In some pictures it looks beautiful but I’m sure it’s not the perfect gift your wife is waiting for.