Rafflesia

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Rafflesia

Description

Parasitic plants, endophytic body growing like a thallus inside the woody stems and roots of species of Tetrastigma (Vitaceae). Flower buds sessile, first protruding as a corky swelling with hexagonal patches, the corky base remaining as a cup-shaped body (cupule) below the scales on the flowering sessile shoot. Flowers (see ) unisexual, female ones with rudiments of anthers. Ovary 1-locular with many placentas. Fruit berry-like. Seeds thick-walled, c. 1 mm long and with a shorter appendage.

Distribution

from the Kra Isthmus of Thailand through West Malesia, including Luzon and Mindanao in the Philippines: present
About 13 species from the Kra Isthmus of Thailand through West Malesia, including Luzon and Mindanao in the Philippines. Possibly formerly also in Bali.

Ecology

Always parasitic on the trailing stems and /or roots of some species of Tetrastigma (Vitaceae).

Taxonomy

Winkler suggested a subdivision based on the structure of ramenta, which appear to have great diagnostic value in tracing the possible phylogeny of species in this genus. Comparative research of the ribosomal RNA of surviving species can test this assumption.

Citation

Harms - in Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam., ed. 2, 16b. 1935: 259
R. Br. - in Trans. Linn. Soc. 1844: 221
Jack ex Hook. - in Comp. Bot. Mag. 1835: pl. 14
Solms-Laubach - in Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3. 1889: 279
Jack - in Appendix Descr. Mal. Pl. 1821
Solms-Laubach - in Engl., Pflanzenr. 5. 1901: 8
Meijer - in Blumea. 1984: 209
Meijer - in Kubitzki, Fam. & Gen. Vase. Pl. 2. 1993: 561