Meet the Corpse Flower

Note: these are not miniature children
Note: these are not miniature children

Plants are so often the overlooked underdogs that I wanted to highlight one today. With their weird and wacky genomes, plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes and if you say you love orchids then you haven’t seen enough plants. Also, just recently we’ve discovered a new organelle (tannosome) in plants! A NEW ORGANELLE (yes, it’s in all caps because I’m yelling) -I sort of thought at this point, the whole organelle deal was sorted out. Nope, plants just keep surprising us. This is major news, like rewriting middle school textbooks major.

One of my personal favorite plants is Rafflesia also called “corpse flower” because it smells like rotting flesh. Sending a bouquet of rafflesia is a bad idea not only because of the smell, but also a single flower may be 90 cm in diameter.

Thanks to ARKive we canwatch this stinky, giant flower bloom.

ARKive video - Rafflesia flower openingThere are 28 species in the genus Rafflesia and they are all found in southeastern Asia. They have no roots and parasitize other plants. Speaking of organelles, the corpse flower has no chloroplasts which perhaps changes the way you define plants. This also provided a headache for the plant systematics world as they use chloroplast DNA to make their phylogenetic trees.

Learn more with this remarkable video from the botanist, Alastair Robinson

“Meet the…” is a collaboration between The Finch & Pea and Nature Afield to bring Nature’s amazing creatures into your home.

%d bloggers like this: