Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Rafflesia, an extraordinary genus of parasitic plants, natives of Java and Sumatra, the type of a small isolated order of dicotyledons, taking their name from Sir Stamford Raffles, by whose party it was discovered in 1818. It grows on the trailing stems of a vine belonging to the genus Cissus, and has no foliage-leaves or true stem, but consists of one huge flower and a few bracts. The bud is like a cabbage and, when open, the flower readies two or three feet across, with a five-cleft, fleshy, carrion-like perianth which has a ring-shaped corona. The flowers are dioecious, the anthers opening by a pore, and the inferior ovary being one-chambered with numerous ovules. The perianth becomes fly-blown and putrefies.