The beginning of Spring for the Northern Hemisphere is March 21st. Me... I got my own agenda. To be exact,this year Spring starts on March 6th. My beginning of Spring is the date of the opening for the Philadelphia Flower Show. I can hardly contain myself and the theme this year is going to be incredible, Springtime in Paris!!! For me, it doesn't get any better than this. This is the LARGEST flower show in the world!!!
Hmm... this got me thinking. Stop shaking your head, I do this from time to time. I definitely do it better with the sun on my back, a trowel in my hand and mud on my feet.
My thoughts wandered , what is the largest flower in the world and where does it flourish? The answer: rafflesia arnoldii. A gigantic flower, the size of a washtub and exceeding three feet in width. It's home is the same places where you find giant spiders and bats and elephants, in the dense jungles. The plant has no leaves or stems. The Rafflesia is a parasite growing upon exposed roots of a kind of vine. It's roots are buried entirely within the tissues of the plant on which it grows, so that all that is visible is its enormous cabbage like bud, which becomes a gigantic blossom.
When fully open, the Rafflesia's thick, fleshy, curled back (5) petals lie flat upon the ground. In their midst is a shallow bowl shaped bloom, containing pollen sacs. This bowl is capable of containing two gallons of water and the weight of the whole blossom can reach fifteen pounds.
This gigantic blossom is red like blood, and exhales a most repulsive odor. So repulsive that its commonly called, the corpse flower and the smell is likened to rotting flesh. Perfect huh? Only in our world, would something be so beautiful that you are in awe, then stink to high heavens so badly that you can't bear to get close to it. Rafflesia's stench is beneficial to the plant in that it attracts an abundance of flies and insects, who obligingly carry the pollen from one blossom to another. The Ripened seeds are in the tissue of the vine and are very sticky. They stick to the feet of elephants, rhinos, and other wild animals of the jungle. They are left in the soil to take root.
This plant was first discovered in Sumatra in 1818 and brought to the attention of the scientific world by Sir Stamford Raffles, hence the name sake.
Ok... I release you... go enjoy your day... Spring is around the bend! Hope YOU get to the flower show and before then, I get my laundry done .