Rafflesia

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Rafflesia răf*flē"zhĭ*ȧ (Bot) A genus of stemless, leafless plants, living parasitically upon the roots and stems of grapevines in Malaysia. The flowers have a carrionlike odor, and are very large, in one species (Rafflesia Arnoldi) having a diameter of two or three feet.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The largest single flower is the Rafflesia or "corpse flower". They are generally 3 feet in diameter with the record being 42 inches.
    • n rafflesia A genus of apetalous parasitic plants of the order Cytinaceæ and type of the tribe Rafflesieæ, characterized by a perianth of five large entire and fleshy imbricated lobes, numerous stigmas, and globose many-chambered anthers, each opening by a single pore, which form a ring at the revolute top of a column rising in the center of the flower. The flowers are diœcious, and the pistillate ones contain an ovary with a labyrinth of small cells and numerous ovules. The 4 species are natives of hot and damp jungles in the Malay archipelago. The whole plant consists of a single flower, without leaves or proper stem, growing out from the porous root or stem of species of Vitis (Cissus), at a time when the leaves and flowers of the foster-plant have withered. The flower of the parasite protrudes as a knob from the bark at first, and enlarges for some months, resembling before opening a close cabbage, and remaining fully expanded only a few days. It exhales an odor of tainted meat, securing crossfertilization by aid of the flies thus attracted to it. The flower reaches 3 inches or more in diameter in R. Rochusseni (valued by the Javanese for astringent and styptic properties), 6 inches in others, and 2 feet in R. Patma. R. Arnoldi has long been famed for its size, greatly exceeding the Victoria lily (23 inches), and even exceeding the Aristolochia Goldieana (a specimen of which at Kew, March, 1890, was 28 inches long and 16 broad). The first flower of R. Arnoldi found measured 3 feet across its flat circular top, and weighed about 15 pounds; the roundish calyxlobes were each a foot long, and in places an inch thick; and the globular central cup was a foot across and held about 6 quarts. The fruit ripens into a chestnut brown and truncated nut, about 5 inches thick, with irregularly furrowed and broken surface, and containing thousands of hard, curiously appendaged and lacunose seeds. The flower is flesh-colored and mottled pink and yellow within, and with brown or bluish scales beneath. It is called ambun-ambun or wonder-wonder by the Malays, and kru but, a name which they also give to another gigantic plant which grows with it, the ovoid Amorphophallus Titanum.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Rafflesia raf-lē′zi-a a remarkable genus of apetalous parasitic plants, named after Sir T. Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), British governor in Sumatra (1818).
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL. Named from its discoverer, Sir S. Raffles,

Usage

In literature:

Rafflesia, parasites allied to.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II" by Charles Darwin
The guide who was some distance behind, came up with a Rafflesia bud.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
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