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Genus of the Week

Week of March 22-28

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you should also visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes , a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.

This week's genus:


Rafflesia


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Rosidae
Order: Rafflesiales
Family: Rafflesiaceae
Tribe: Rafflesieae
Number of Species: At least two
Root: Named for Sir Stamford Raffles, who led the expedition on which this genus was discovered.

Plants in the genus Rafflesia are parasitic, as are all genera in the Rafflesiaceae. The vegetative parts of the plants are extremely modified; often there is no apparent differentiation of leaves or roots. Instead, the vegetative bodies of most species begin development inside their plant host's stems or roots, and resemble the mycelium of a fungus. What sets the genus Rafflesia apart from the rest of the family is the distinction of having the largest flowers of any angiosperm (up to 3 feet wide!).

Here are some links to images and information for the genus Rafflesia:


References:

  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.

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