Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various parasitic plants of the genus Rafflesia of tropical Asia, having small, brownish, scalelike leaves and fleshy, apetalous, foul-smelling flowers of various sizes. The species R. arnoldii has the largest flowers among all flowering plants, often measuring up to 1 meter (approximately 40 inches) in diameter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several large parasitic plants, of the genus Rafflesia, from South East Asia, that have no roots, stems or leaves; Rafflesia arnoldii has the largest known flower with a diameter of over a yard.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A genus of stemless, leafless plants, living parasitically upon the roots and stems of grapevines in Malaysia. The flowers have a carrionlike odor, and are very large, in one species (Rafflesia Arnoldi) having a diameter of two or three feet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A genus of apetalous parasitic plants of the order Cytinaceæ and type of the tribe Rafflesieæ, characterized by a perianth of five large entire and fleshy imbricated lobes, numerous stigmas, and globose many-chambered anthers, each opening by a single pore, which form a ring at the revolute top of a column rising in the center of the flower.

Etymologies

New Latin, genus name, after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • On the rainforest floor, rafflesia is hidden by a dense carpet of taller vegetation.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • Rather than pulling water and nutrients from the ground, rafflesia attaches to and sucks life from grapevines.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • Since rafflesia depends solely on a host for nutrients, and not photosynthesis, it lacks chloroplasts.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • Morphological misfitsFirst identified 180 years ago in Sumatra by naturalist Sir Stamford Raffles, rafflesia has baffled botanists trying to pinpoint its close relatives.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • That is about the most unique picture I have seen of a rafflesia...so high up the tree.

    Tropic Temper

  • It would probably be something ugly, like a rafflesia, or KL Tower.

    Rant!

  • If the final cadence of the book is a dagger thrust the prelude is a subtle poison, rafflesia, a

    The Merry-Go-Round

  • The poisons of rafflesia, muscarine, and orsere are introduced in his fictions; somewhere he devotes an essay to toxicology.

    The Merry-Go-Round

  • explosion quadrants rafflesia, hibiscus anchor with wave fish hooks eyes of a needles fork crossroads borders

    Archive 2008-10-01

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Comments

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  • The world's largest flower, called Rafflesia, can have a diameter up to one meter and can weigh up to 10 kilograms. It also smells like rotting flesh. Discovery News tells us that its genetic roots have been uncovered and that this plant that smells so bad is related to delicate flowers such as poinsettias or violets.

    November 7, 2008