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Any of various parasitic plants of the genus Rafflesia of Southeast Asia, having no leaves and a solitary fleshy flower with the odor of carrion. The species R. arnoldii has the largest flowers among all flowering plants, measuring up to 1 meter (3 feet) in diameter.

[New Latin, genus name, after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), British colonial administrator who acquired Singapore for the East India Company in 1819 and founded a settlement there.]


(Plants) any of various tropical Asian parasitic leafless plants constituting the genus Rafflesia, esp R. arnoldi, the flowers of which grow up to 45 cm (18 inches) across, smell of putrid meat, and are pollinated by carrion flies: family Rafflesiaceae
[C19: New Latin, named after T. S. Raffles, who discovered it]


(rəˈfli ʒə)

n., pl. -sias.
a stemless, leafless Malaysian plant of the genus Rafflesia, of the family Rafflesiaceae, bearing a flower that grows to 3 ft. (90 cm) in diameter, the world's largest.
[< New Latin (1821), after Stamford Raffles (1781–1826), British colonial administrator in Southeast Asia, who obtained the type specimen]
References in periodicals archive ?
For nearly 200 years, botanists have debated which plants are most closely related to rafflesias.
In fact, the species of Euphorbiaceae that are most closely related to rafflesias, according to the new study, have flowers that are just a tiny fraction of the size of rafflesia blooms.
The rafflesia plant's flowers seem too different in structure from those of poinsettias and castor beans to be related to them.
Davis of Harvard University and his colleagues put the rafflesias in other company.
The Euphorbiaeeae family includes plenty of other tiny flowers, and the species within it that Davis and his colleagues have identified as the nearest relatives of rafflesias have blooms only a few millimeters across.
Rafflesias have also evolved into parasites without true roots or leaves, and as such provide a huge challenge for gardeners trying to grow them (SN: 9/11/99, p.
In Sumatra, the rafflesias have competitors for sheer size.
Robert Brown (1773-1858), a famous Scottish botanist of the time, using the information received from Raffles and Arnold, named the remarkable flower after its discoverers; Rafflesia arnoldii required the creation of a new genus and family, the Rafflesiaceae, which later included other similar but less spectacular species (R.
It is not a parasitic plant, but it has the same disgusting smell of rotting flesh as Rafflesia.
Thanks to his efforts and tips from other Sabah residents, Nais has located more than 80 patches of the three local Rafflesias.
titanum, Rafflesias, and the pelican flower, Aristolochia gigantea, whose pipe-shaped flowers can reach more than a foot long.
Right up there with the world's largest collection of airsickness bags (Niek Vermeulen's 2,112 specimens in the Netherlands) and the world's most decorated woman (Canadian "strip artiste" Krystyne Kolorful, with 95 percent of her skin tatooed), the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records awards the honor of the world's largest bloom to Rafflesia arnoldii of Southeast Asia.