The Rafflesia lagascae, a species of Rafflesia, blooms only once a year. They are indigenous to the South East Asian region and cannot be found elsewhere. Rafflesia flowers are known to be the largest flowers in the world, but this specific species only grows to the size of a salad plate. It is actually one of the smallest species of Rafflesia.
This particular rare flower can be found on Mt. Makiling. Scientists, students, and regular hikers are known to make the trek in search for this elusive flower. A group recently found what could be some of the first Rafflesia flowers in bloom this season. ABS-CBN was able to record the discovery after more than a 2-hour hike from the mud spring trail of Mt. Makiling into the thick of the forest.
Fair warning to those interested in seeing the flowers in person: the Rafflesia are known to let off a pungent scent. Others describe it as ‘sea-like’ or even ‘fishy’. This is in order to attract flies to the plant, which are its main agents of pollination.
While there are 28 known species of Rafflesia, this flower is still considered endangered. Their blooming periods are limited and they are highly susceptible to uninformed flower-pickers. Which is why scientists and environmental-conservatives hope that those who make the trek to catch these rare flowers in bloom remember not to try bringing them home — especially because the flowers won’t live long when parted from its host plant.
Would you make the trek to catch these flowers in bloom?