1820 First description Rafflesia flower

1820 First description Rafflesia flower

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Rafflesia arnoldi, engraving by Franz Bauer, origional hand colouring - accompanying the paper by Robert Brown which was the first description of the species of parasitic plant in Linn. Trans. Vol XIII, tab XV. The picture derives directly from the colour Drawing made by Joseph Arnold on its discovery and finished by Lady Raffles when Arnold died of fever before completing it. Both were comemorated in the name given by Brown in this paper 1821. Infact the genus was discovered by a French biologist Louis Deschamps in 1797 but his work confiscated by the British with whom the French were at war. Because the French could still claim a generic name without a specimen the British raced to name it. The largest single flower in the world. The plant is parasitic with no stems, leaves or true roots. It can weigh up to 10 kilograms and have a diameter of over a meter.

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Keywords: arnoldi, bauer, biggest, borneo, botanic, botany, carrion, corpse, deschamps, discovery, endoparasite, exotic, flies, flower, giant, illustration, indonesia, insect, joseph banks, jungle, largest, linnean society, pollination, raffles, rafflesia

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