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Rafflesia Arnoldi Blooms Outside Its Habitat for the First Time
TheIndonesia.id - Rafflesia arnoldii R. Br or better known as the giant lotus blooms outside its habitat for the first time. Researcher and Curator of the Rafflesia Collection at the Bogor Botanical Gardens, Sofi Mursidawati, stated that the Rafflesia arnoldii R. Br was blooming for the first time as a result of cultivation in the Bogor Botanical Gardens.
"Although the diameter is no more than 60 cm, this species is certainly Rafflesia arnoldii R. Br," she said in a written statement received by Antara in Jakarta, Monday, September 12, 2022.
She said that efforts to conserve Rafflesia arnoldii R. Br outside their habitat (ex situ) had failed since 1818. In 2006 researchers at the Rafflesia Bogor Botanical Gardens made an effort to grow Rafflesia arnoldii R. Br seeds from Bengkulu in vak XVII which is a collection of climbing plant species including seven tetrastigma species, which are Rafflesia's hosts.
After 16 years, in early September 2022 several flower knobs appeared, one of which bloomed on September 12, 2022. She stated that Rafflesia Arnoldi R. Br is a National Rare Puspa based on the Decree of the President of the Republic of Indonesia Number 4 of 1993.
Besides being designated as a National Rare Puspa, this charismatic giant flower from Bengkulu is included in the list of protected plants based on Government Regulation No. 4 of 1999 and the IUCN Red List with conservation status threatened with extinction.
Rafflesia arnoldii R. Br was first discovered in 1818 in the Sumatran forest by a guide who worked for Dr. Joseph Arnold who was following the expedition of Thomas Stanford Raffles. So this plant was named after the discoverer, the combination between Raffles and Arnold.
There are 33 species of Rafflesia in the world and 14 of them grow in Indonesia, of which 11 species are endemic to Sumatra. Previously, the Bogor Botanical Gardens had succeeded in growing Rafflesia patma Bl. for the first time in 2010, and to date, it has bloomed 16 times (in 2019).