The World's Largest Flower

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The World's Largest Flower

The world's largest flower belongs to the Rafflesia genus which is known for producing plants that smell like rotting meat.
The bloom measured 3.5 feet across—1.6 inches more than its predecessor.

Rafflesia flowerRafflesia tuan-mudae

Earlier this month, a particular Rafflesia tuan-mudae, spotted in a forest near Lake Maninjau in Indonesia, became the largest flower in the world, measuring 3.5 feet across (1.6 inches more than the previously the record holder). This new bloom grew in the same exact spot as its predecessor, which could indicate that it's actually the same plant.
People who have smelled Rafflesia tuan-mudae (commonly known as the "stinking corpse lily") describe it as emitting a stench similar to that of rotting meat.
But despite its gargantuan size and smell, the most interesting thing about Rafflesia is that it's also a parasitic plant. According to New Scientist, it doesn't have leaves, stems, or roots and hides "away inside their host plant". Rafflesia grows on Tetrastigma vines, which belong to a genus of plant related to grapes. Tetrastigma provides the food and water for Rafflesia to grow and thrive during it's short week of life.