Genus of the Week
Week of March 22-28
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:
Number of Species: At least two
Root: Named for Sir Stamford Raffles, who led the expedition on which this genus was
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:
- Gerhard Winter has a web page devoted to
R. arnoldii with some great photos and site descriptions.
- Read more about Sir Stamford
Raffles and the discovery of R. arnoldii from the web site of the National Computer
Board of Singapore.
- Go to the Wayne's Word web page dedicated to
"Stinking Flowers", and find out why R. arnoldii is sometimes called "Stinking
- The Parasitic Plant Connection web site has a
photo of another species, R. pricei.
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
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