About two hundred years ago, an English naturalist, during a journey in Sumatra, stumbled upon a remarkable phenomenon. Right on the ground before him lay a flower with the unbearable smell of rotting carrion, colored like flesh and blood, with a diameter of about a meter, lacking a stem, leaves, and the ability to photosynthesize.
Having described this marvel, the researcher succumbed to fever and passed away. However, the flower was given his name. They called this flower – Rafflesia Arnoldii or corpse lily.
In the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Kalimantan, there are 12 species of Rafflesia. The plant takes about 5 years to grow, weighs around 10 kg, and blooms for only 2-4 days. The flower, with a diameter of 0.6m-1m, has five enormous, fleshy petals, with a red ring at their center surrounding a cavity filled with numerous stamens and a nectary.
This cavity (holding 4 liters of water) emits a strong odor to attract insects. Indeed, above its surface swarm flies and beetles, enjoying the aromas of Rafflesia.
After the flower blooms, Rafflesia decomposes, gradually transforming into a ghastly black mass of decay.