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.