What is the largest-blooming single flower in the world?
Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowering plants in the family Rafflesiaceae. The species have enormous flowers, the buds rising from the ground or directly from the lower stems of their host plants; one species has the largest flowers in the world. The genus contains approximately 28 species (including four incompletely characterized species as recognized in 1997 by Willem Meijer in the latest monograph on the genus), all found in Southeast Asia, mainly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. For Western Europe, it was first discovered by French surgeon and naturalist Louis Deschamps in Java between 1791 and 1794, but his notes and illustrations, seized by the British in 1803, were not available to western science until 1861.
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