Selasa, 04 Maret 2008

Rafflesia : A European Direct Navigation Website

Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowering plants. It was discovered in the Indonesian rain forest by an Indonesian guide working for Dr. Joseph Arnold in 1818, and named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the leader of the expedition. It contains 15-19 species (including four incompletely characterized species as recognized by Meijer 1997), all found in southeastern Asia, on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra and Kalimantan, West Malaysia, and the Philippines. The plant has no stems, leaves or true roots. It is an endoparasite of vines in the genus Tetrastigma (Vitaceae), 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. In some species, such as Rafflesia arnoldii, 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. The flowers look and smell like rotting meat, hence its local names which translate to "corpse flower" or "meat flower" (but see below). The vile smell that the flower gives off attracts insects such as carrion flies, which transport pollen from male to female flowers. Little is known about seed dispersal, however, tree shrews and other forest mammals apparently eat the fruits and disperse the seeds. Rafflesia is an official state flower of Sabah in Malaysia, as well as for the Surat Thani Province, Thailand.

The name "corpse flower" applied to Rafflesia is confusing because this common name also refers to the Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum) of the family Araceae. Moreover, because Amorphophallus has the world's largest unbranched inflorescence, it is sometimes mistakenly credited as having the world's largest flower. Both Rafflesia and Amorphophallus are flowering plants, but they are still distantly related. Rafflesia arnoldii has the largest single flower of any flowering plant, at least when one judges this by weight. Amorphophallus titanum has the largest unbranched inflorescence, while the Talipot palm (Corypha umbraculifera) forms the largest branched inflorescence, containing thousands of flowers; this plant is monocarpic, meaning that individuals die after flowering.


* Rafflesia arnoldii
* Rafflesia baletei
* Rafflesia bengkuluensis
* Rafflesia cantleyi
* Rafflesia gadutensis
* Rafflesia hasseltii
* Rafflesia keithii
* Rafflesia kerrii
* Rafflesia lobata
* Rafflesia magnifica
* Rafflesia manillana
* Rafflesia micropylora
* Rafflesia mira
* Rafflesia patma
* Rafflesia pricei
* Rafflesia rochussenii
* Rafflesia schadenbergiana
* Rafflesia speciosa
* Rafflesia tengku-adlinii
* Rafflesia tuan-mudae

Unverified species

* Rafflesia borneensis
* Rafflesia ciliata
* Rafflesia irigaenses
* Rafflesia titan
* Rafflesia witkampii

Comparison of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of Rafflesia with other angiosperm mtDNA indicated that this parasite evolved from photosynthetic plants of the order Malpighiales.[1]. Another study from that same year confirmed this result using both mtDNA and nuclear DNA sequences, and showed that three other groups traditionally classified in Rafflesiaceae were unrelated [2]. A more recent study found Rafflesia and its relatives to be embedded within the family Euphorbiaceae, which is surprising as members of that family typically have very small flowers.[3] According to their analysis, the rate of flower size evolution was more or less constant throughout the family except at the origin of Rafflesiaceae, where the flowers rapidly evolved to become much larger before reverting to the slower rate of change.

* In Final Fantasy XII, "Rafflesia" is the name given to a major enemy in the Feywood stage, whose appearance and abilities appear inspired by the giant bloom.
* A "Blue Rafflesia" is also found in Final Fantasy XI. It is one of the needed items to obtain the Opo Opo Crown.
* In the Nintendo DS game Animal Crossing: Wild World, Rafflesia is seen as a Giant Plant when weeds overtake your town. You need to pick all weeds to remove the plant from your town.
* One of the first Pokémon designed is called Vileplume, which evolves from Gloom when the Leaf Stone is used. Vileplume has a gigantic rafflesia on its head, and its Japanese name is "Ruffureshia", which is a transcription of "Rafflesia". When a Sun Stone is used on Gloom, it instead blooms into the beautiful Bellossom (from the Gold and Silver versions onwards).
* Rafflesia also appears as a creature in the popular MMORPG, Ragnarok Online.
* One of the Hidden bosses in Mega Man X: Command Mission (PS2, GameCube) is named Rafflesian, and has a flower-like appearance
* In the manga Captain Harlock, Rafflesia is the name of the Mazones's queen.
* The title of the song Lafflesia by Malice Mizer is an altered spelling of rafflesia, and in the song a beautiful flower is mentioned.

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