Most people recognise the world's largest flower as the Rafflesia. In actual fact, there are a few more specific definitions for this and the Rafflesia is termed as the world's largest single flower. This genus of flowering plants are named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles who is the expedition leader leading to the discovery of this plant. The Rafflesia is a parasitic plant without any stems, leaves, branches and true roots. Its host plant is a woody vine of the genus Terastigma whereby the haustoria of the Rafflesia penetrate and extract nutrients from them. The flowers are either male or female.
Flower bud of Rafflesia tuan-mudae at Gading
Another largest flower that can be found in Gunung Gading is the Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum). This plant has the largest unbranched inflorescence. As with the Rafflesia, the Titan arum is also known as the corpse flower due to their rotting smell which attract flies for pollination. Both male and female flowers occur on the same inflorescence.
Immature flower of Titan arum
Fruits of Titan arum
Talipot Plam (source: www.panamatours.com)