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RAFFLESIA (BUA PHUT)

Rafflesia is a parasitic plant with no leaves or roots on its own. It invades the liana vines and like a parasite, it absorbs all the vine's nutrients.Once a year small buds begin to develop beneath the root bark of the vine. As they mature, they swell, breaking through the bark, to the size of a football. They then burst open revealing the massive flower, which can be up to 80 cm. in diameter and is ocra, yellow, chesnut and white in colour.

   

Flies pollinate Bua Phut, attracted by the sweet, slicky smell. A female flower is polinated oly by a male flower, and chances are reduced, not only by its rarity, but also because it only flowers for 3-4 days, then it shrivels and dies.
Rafflesia is found in only countries on the Sunda shelf, namely Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. It get its name from Sir Stanford Raffles, who first found specimens of another species in Sabah, East Malaysia.

 

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