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World’s largest 'Rafflesia tuan-mudae' blooms in West Sumatra

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The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, January 2, 2020  /  04:33 pm
World’s largest 'Rafflesia tuan-mudae' blooms in West Sumatra

A ‘Rafflesia tuan-mudae’ bloomed “perfectly” on New Year’s Day at Maninjau Nature Conservation area in Palembayan district, Agam regency, West Sumatra. (bksdasumbar.org/File)

As if to welcome the new year, the world's largest Rafflesia tuan-mudae has bloomed at Maninjau Nature Conservation area in Palembayan district, Agam regency, West Sumatra.

“This is the largest Rafflesia tuan-mudae in the world at 111 centimeters in diameter,” Khairi Ramadhan, section head of the West Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) for Conservation Area 1, told kompas.com on Wednesday.

Read also: Rare flower Rafflesia needs saving, says Bogor Botanical Gardens researcher

The world-record Rafflesia tuan-mudae has a diameter of 111 cm, beating a giant Rafflesia that bloomed in the same location in 2017.The world-record Rafflesia tuan-mudae has a diameter of 111 cm, beating a giant Rafflesia that bloomed in the same location in 2017. (bksdasumbar.org/File)

The previous world-record Rafflesia tuan-mudae boasted a diameter of 107 cm and was found at the same location on the same host plant in 2017, according to Khairi. At the time, the flower stole the title from another Rafflesia in the Philippines with a diameter of 100 cm.

He said the agency had started observing the rare parasitic plant on Dec. 24, 2019, "and today [on Wednesday] the flower has perfectly bloomed."

The Rafflesia tuan-mudae was first discovered by the West Sumatra BKSDA following collaborative research with Agus Susatya, a Rafflesia expert from Bengkulu University, in late 2017.  

The agency enforced tight security around the rare plant and had installed an informational plaque prohibiting people from damaging the flower as it was protected by Law No. 5/1990 on natural resources and ecosystem conservation.

Khairi said the Rafflesia plant could be found in 13 locations and the majority could be found in areas surrounding Lake Maninjau. (wir/kes)

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