Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pretty, Huge & Smelly

Where from: Sabah, Malaysia
When: 2005
Who: Self
Where now: Home
Number: 131

I bought this during a family trip to Sabah - the entire family with my nephew & niece (Faris & Farah), my parents in law and my bro-in-law Adif. Wikipedia told me that the plant has no stems, leaves or true roots. It is an endoparasiteof vines in the genus 'Tetrastigma" , spreading its root-like haustoria inside the tissue of the vine. The only part of the plant that can be seen outside the host vine is the five-petaled flower.
And it's huge. I have never seen it in real life but they say the flower may be over 100 cm in diameter, and weigh up to 10 kg. Even the smallest species, R. manillana, has 20 cm diameter flowers.

But I really don't mind not seeing it as it looks and smells like rotting meat, hence its local names which translate to "corpse flower" or "meat flower" (think of the smelly so-called 'fresh chicken' I bought in Carrefour a couple of months back. Even the girl at the counter wanted to puke).

But hey, now we all have learnt something about the gigantic flower, eh?

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