Rabu, 05 Maret 2008

How The Name "Rafflesia" Started

How The Name "Rafflesia" Started
Rafflesia comes after the name of an adventurer and founder of the British colony of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles. After a jungle expedition in Sumatra(Indonesia) in 1821-22, Raffles and Dr.Joseph Arnold, a young accompanying assistant surgeon in the Navy with a passion for natural history. At the time Sir Stamford was the Governor of Sumatra and while riding on horseback,crossing jungle clad mountainous Sumatra, both of them came across (discovered) this fabulous flower.
A born naturalist Raffles immediately took note of the flower which came to be name Rafflesia arnoldii (after the 2 explorers)
There are about 20 described species of Rafflesia, some only discovered as recently as 1988. They are found on peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand, on Borneo Island. In the restricted areas of the Philipines and in Sumatra
Description and Characteristics
Lets get the facts out of it (Scientific Name: Rafflesia ssp)

The world's largest flower weighing about 9 kg and almost 1 meter wide
Totally dependent on one particular vine called Tetrastigma (related to the grapevine)
The Rafflesia is a disembodied flower. A rootless, leftless and stemless parasite, it drains nourishment and gains physical support from its host vine. Its only body outside the flower consists of strands of fungus-like tissue that grow inside the Tetrastigma vine. It first manifests itself as atiny bud on the vine's stem. Most buds rot before they attain maturity, but when they finally open nine or more months, they display five huge, fleshy petals that can reach in extreme cases almost one meter in diameter and weigh over seven kilogrammes
Over a period of 12 months, it swells to a cabbage like head that bursts around midnight under the cover of a rainy night to reveal this startling, lurid-red flower. Beauty turns beastly in only a few days. The Rafflesia only flowers for 5 to 6 days, before the petals blacken and the flower withers. The "flowering Beast" begins to smell like a rotting meat, attracting blue bottle flies for pollination
Where they can be found
The Rafflesia is generally found at altitudes between 500 and 700 meters in the forests of Borneo, Sumatra and Java, Peninsular Malaysia and Philipines. In this tropical rainforests the climate is continuously warm, generally between 24-27 C with humidity frequently reaching 100% at night.In Sabah (North Borneo) a Rafflesia Conservation Area has been set aside near Tambunan. It is an area where there is an unusully high concentration of Rafflesias and one is almost guaranteed to see Rafflesia in bloom.
Rafflesia In Sabah (North Borneo)
Commons and Rare Species
There are 3 type of Rafflesia that can be found in Sabah:1. Rafflesia keithii Meijer2. Rafflesia pricei Meijer3. Rafflesia tengku-adlinii (rarest species)

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