What Is the World’s Largest Flower?
The world’s largest blooming flower is the stinking corpse lily (Rafflesia arnoldi), which grows in the deeply shaded forests of Borneo and other parts of Southeast Asia.
It is a parasitic plant, with no visible leaves, roots, or stem. It attaches itself to a host plant to obtain water and nutrients.
Resembling the heart of an enormous red cabbage, its orange and purple flowers weigh up to 15 pounds and can be three feet wide. Its fleshy petals may be three quarters of an inch thick!
And if size isn’t enough to make these giant flowers stand out, they also smell terrible. The nauseating odor, resembling that of rotting meat, attracts flies, which carry the flower’s pollen.
Another enormous flower found in Indonesia is the Amorphophallus titanum, or Titan arum. It is also known as the “corpse flower” for its unpleasant odor. Like the Rafflesia, the Titan emits the smell of rotting flesh to attract pollinators.
Technically, the Titan arum is not a single flower. It is a cluster of many tiny flowers, called an inflorescence. The Titan arum has the largest unbranched inflorescence of all flowering plants. The plant can reach heights of 7 to 12 feet and weigh as much as 170 pounds!