The Largest Flower in the World
Today is the anniversary of the death of Sir Stamford Raffles.
Eight years before he died, Raffles described the Arnold's rafflesia, the largest flower in the world.
"The magnificent plants have no leaves, no roots, and no stem. The entire flower measures about a yard across and weighs about fifteen pounds. And, the Rafflesia flower lasts for only a few days before it withers and dies."
The Rafflesia arnoldii, commonly called the corpse lily or stinking corpse lily, is named to honor Raffles and his dear friend Dr. James Arnold, who was with him during the discovery of the plant on the island of Sumatra. Arnold was a surgeon, botanist, and a naturalist in his own right, but sadly he died shortly after seeing the bloom. The Rafflesia arnoldii was named in honor of them both (Raffles and Arnold).
The Rafflesia flower is still regarded as the largest in the world.