KOMPAS.com - Flower aficionados in Indonesia are in for a one of a kind surprise, after two species of the Rafflesia flowers are found blooming simultaneously in protected forests in Indonesia's Bengkulu Province.
Known as Rafflesia arnoldii and Rafflesia kemumu, the two plants could be found at the Rindu Hati Protected Forest in Central Bengkulu Regency, and Boven Lais Palak Siring in North Bengkulu Regency.
"These flowers will be blooming for the next few days. This is a very rare occurrence that does not happen on a daily basis," said Sofian, the Bengkulu branch coordinator for the Caring for Rare Flowers Community (KPPL) Coordinator in Bengkulu on Thursday, June 10.
"Rafflesia arnoldii usually takes about nine months to grow. However, this flower has a short bloom span of about five to seven days before it withers and dies," he added.
Sofian further highlighted the fragility of this robust looking flower. "The Rafflesia arnoldii can even die before blooming if the host plant also died from an inadequate inadequate of water and nutrients."
Those who wish to witness the beauty of Rafflesia kemumu must take a 30-minute walk from the entrance of the Palak Siring Tourism Area and fully comply with health protocols.
"Rafflesia flowers, such as Rafflesia kemumu, are known to bloom alternately in several points," said Dani Umbara, an administrator of the North Bengkulu KPPL, as quoted by the Antara state news agency.
Dani hoped that this phenomena will attract more visitors and raise the government's awareness about the woeful state of the Rafflesia flowers' natural habitat.
The Rafflesia flowers are different from other flowers due to the massive size of their petals and a repellent smell that led some observers to call it a "corpse flower." It is also distinct from other flowers for lacking roots, leaves and branches.
(Writer: Vanya Karunia Mulia Putri | Editor : Michael Hangga Wismabrata, Serafica Gischa)