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flower 2 feet / 60cm across. Red with pale pink dotted patterns on 5 petals. no stem, no leaves. emitting pungent rotting smell.
found on Malaysian jungle floor. parasiting on Tetrastigma rafflesiae liana plant.
Harvard researchers have now discovered that food and water aren't the only things the corpse flowers steal - over the course of evolutionary history, Rafflesia has also stolen Tetrastigma's genes. The corpse flower and its host have a very intimate relationship. From the start, Rafflesia burrows into the Tetrastigma's tissues, growing as thread-like strands in direct contact with the surrounding vine's cells. They are so dependant on their host that the corpse flowers have even lost the ability to make chlorophyll, a requirement for photosynthesis, and thus defy the very nature of being a plant by being unable to produce food from sunligh