Endangered Strangers: Rafflesia magnifica
"I am the corpse flower"
"Also known as the meat flower"
And also known as Rafflesia mira this flower is endemic to the rainforests of Mindanao Philippines. Confined to the mountain range of Mt.Candalaga the flower is threatened by a road infrastructure project. Development of banana plantations on the lower slope of the mountain may also pose a threat. Rafflesia magnifica is only known from a few individuals and is listed as critically endangered.
While Rafflesia magnifica has only been known to science since 2005. There are many different rafflesia species. Rafflesia arnoldii has the largest single flower of any flowering plant.
This family of parasitic plants has no stems, leaves or true roots. It spreads its root-like haustoria inside the tissue of the vines and thus, lives the life of a parasite.
The fragrance of Rafflesia is most often described as smelling of "rotting flesh." This odor attracts flies and carrion beetles who, in turn, transport pollen from male to female flowers. Isn't nature great?