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World's smallest Rafflesia flower discovered in Nueva Ecija

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Jeanh, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. World's smallest Rafflesia flower discovered in Nueva Ecija

    The Philippines cemented itself as the world's biodiversity hotspot for Rafflesia "corpse flowers" as a new species of the usually pungent-smelling blossom was just discovered in Nueva Ecija.

    Despite being more popularly known as a tourist attraction elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the Rafflesia actually enjoys more biodiversity in the Philippines than anywhere else in the world.

    One-third of all the rougly 30 known Rafflesia species are found only in the Philippines.

    And now, scientists have found one more species unique to the country.

    World's smallest

    The world's smallest giant flower is a peculiar title to hold, but then again, the newly discovered Rafflesia consueloae is not your typical bloom. Even it's discover is extraordinary.

    "Rafflesia flowers are unique in that they are entirely parasitic on roots and stems of specific Tetrastigma vines in the forests and have no distinct roots, stems, or leaves of their own," Please or Register to view links, "Thus, they are entirely dependent on their host plants for water and nutrients."

    Serendipitous discovery

    Professor Perry S. Ong of the Institute of Biology in University of the Philippines - Diliman describes finding R. consueloae "serendipitous." A field assistant had accidentally kicked over a pile of forest litter, revealing the diminutive flower.

    R. consueloae was first discovered near the Pantabangan Masiway Hydroelectric Power Plant and the team found the rest in two localities: Mt. Balokbok and Mt Pantaburon in Nueva Ecija.


    Pleasant smell of young coconut meat

    Despite the rotten smell that earned Rafflesias the nickname "corpse flower," the smaller consueloae does not have the distinct odors common to other Rafflesias and instead smells of young coconut meat.

    Professor Ong added that they named R. consueloae after Mrs. Conseulo "Connie" Rufino Lopez, lifelong partner of Filipino Industrialist Oscar M. Lopez and mother of Federico Lopez.

    "With her demure, but strong personality traits, which Rafflesia consueloae also possesses, she provides the inspiration for Mr. Lopez’s pursuit of biodiversity conservation in the Philippines," he said.

    Size of a basketball

    Although hailed "smallest", R. consueloae is still larger than most ordinary flowers at 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm or the size of a basketball. It is only dwarfed when compared to the bigger Rafflesia arnoldi from Sumatra and Borneo, which can grow up to 1.5 meters in diameter. It is also much smaller than the Rafflesia schadenbergiana, found in Mindanao, whose flower measures 0.8 meters in diameter.

    Already critically endangered

    Fernando further shared that R. consueloae is the sixth species from Luzon Island and the 13th for the entire Philippine archipelago. Unfortunately, it is immediately classified as Critically Endangered.

    Scientists like biologists Jeanmaire Molina have been Please or Register to view links

    Rafflesia is hailed as the "panda of flowers" and is used a tourist attraction by our Southeast Asian neighbors.
    Dah Dezaster and queencee like this.
  2. queencee

    queencee Forum Guru Established

    Thanks for sharing this. :)
  3. Salamat sa pagbahagi nito...
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