World's Biggest Flower
The biggest individual flower on earth that has created ecotourism from thousand of people is known as Rafflesia arnoldii; sadly threatened with extinction, due to habitat loss and natural reproduction difficulties.
Rafflesia is more than the biggest flower, it has wonderful characteristics:
- genus of parasitic flowering plants
- no leaves and hardly any stem
- five-petaled flower up to 106 cm. and can weigh up to 10 kg.
- flowers have a penetrating, repulsive smell like rotting meat and many of its local names translate as ‘corpse flower’
- is itself not visible until the reproduction stage when flowers first bud through the woody vine
- it is totally dependent on one particular vine called Tetrastigma, related to the grapevine), and then open into the magnificent spectacle that tourism even risk just to see it.
The rafflesia flower contains 15-19 species, all found in Southeastern Asia. It is usually found in the rain forests on the slopes of mountain ranges.
The picture below has the link to admire this exotic flower in her diverse blossoming also.
It is said that Southeast Asia is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, I could agree after knowing about this gorgeous flower found there; even when it is politically unstable and it has been the scene of violence in recent years. Tourists will take the risk I guess, because of six important elements which most tourists look after:
- tropical climate, warm (or hot!) all year around
- rich culture
- gorgeous beaches
- wonderful food
- low prices
The video below shows a family which preferred the joy of seeing, watching and leaving evidence of their journey to experience the rafflesia flower. I like the video since quality of time for kids is important; this dedication is shown as the kids reflect the controlled liberty and enjoyment. The best education is the one that makes learning come from concrete to abstract.
The amazing rafflesia is a flower that the pleasure of being near such a unique creation of God in her real environment must be an unforgettable experience...I guess I could take the risk following some principles I have read about when visiting another place, which I recommend:
- Minimize impact
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect
- Provide positive experiences
I wish you luck and blessings if you decide to travel over Southeast Asia to experience the wonders of the amazing world's biggest flower.
© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill
© 2012 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill