25th Anniversary of Rafflesia Arnoldii – If screens emitted scents, you’d be in for quite the stench. The pale green fumes bursting from today’s Doodle evoke the odor of Rafflesia arnoldii, an Indonesian plant that produces the largest flower in the world. This day marks the 25th anniversary of its distinction as a national rarity in its native Indonesia.
Known as bunga bangkai, or “the corpse flower” among locals, Rafflesia arnoldii gives off the aroma of rotting flesh, which baits the carrion flies that pollinate it. Its plump, red-brown petals, freckled with white spots, only emerge from Tetrastigma, the vine-like plants that host it, when it’s ready to reproduce — making it an incredibly uncommon sight. Once in the open, Rafflesia arnoldii grows to around 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter and blooms for just a few days.
But there’s more to this parasitic plant than its pungent perfume. Rafflesia arnoldii was named an Indonesian national “rare flower” in 1993’s Presidential Decree No. 4. This wondrous species is represented in the intricate patterns of traditional Indonesian batik, especially in the Bengkulu province of Sumatra, where it is often found.
Today, we celebrate Rafflesia arnoldii’s special (and smelly) place in Indonesian history!
You can find more about 25th Anniversary of Rafflesia Arnoldii on the official Google Doodle Page