Whilst the Rafflesia flower genus comprises quite a few separate species, some of the more remote habitats in Anambas harbour the largest species of all, Rafflesia arnoldii.
The Rafflesia flower can attain a total diameter in excess of one meter and the flower mass can exceed 10 kg, in part due to the petals reaching 2-3 cm in thickness.
Small wonder that Sir Stamford Raffles called it "The largest and most magnificent flower in the world", before naming the species after himself and his companion, Dr. James Arnold. The two historical figures are known to be the discoverers the giant flower in 1818.
Rafflesia is called the "smelly flower" or "corpse flower", due to its strong distasteful odour, which is said to resemble rotting meat. The flower utilizes this smell to attract flies and other carrion-eating insects, which then aid in pollination and reproduction.
Everything was great!! Our guide was veryyy good he knew places where rafflesia grew so we were lucky to see it. He gave us a lot of information about the nature. Many thanks for a such a nice trek!!!!
-- Polina, Russia --
But Rafflesia is special for more reasons than just the flower's large size and unappealing smell. It's one of the rarest flowers in the world. To the extent that, unfortunately, Rafflesia has had to be placed on the endangered floral species list.
Apart from its ever-shrinking habitat, there's another reason Rafflesia occurs less and less: the fact that germination of the flower seeds seems to take place infrequently.
As a matter of fact, even after successful germination, most of the resulting flower buds tend to die prematurely, i've before they get a chance to bloom or pollinate another flower.
The flowers that do manage to bloom, only do so for a few days, which means reproduction in Rafflesia is rather ineffective.
Given these low odds of success, it's no surprise spotting a Rafflesia flower in full blooming glory is a pretty special event.
If you'd like to experience Rafflesia in the "flesh", so to speak, then head for Anambas. The nature guide you booked will take you to several locations known to be Rafflesia "hot spots".
Of course, they can't guarantee there will be flowers in full bloom, as this is up to nature. However, in most cases, you'll be able to at least see flower buds, or the remnants of flowers that have been in bloom. Still, hopefully, luck will be on your side.
Send your inquiry about Rafflesia here.