243 pages, 152 colour photos, 73 colour & b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps, tables
“...Come with me sir, come! A flower, very large, beautiful, wonderful!” These were the words of an unnamed local guide who found Rafflesia and pointed it out to Dr. Joseph Arnold and Sir Stamford Raffles on 19 May 1818 at Bengkulu, Sumatra. Thus was this magnificent plant introduced to the western world. The first report, however, was actually made by Louis Auguste Deschamp in Java some 27 years earlier. In the chapter on “Rafflesia Discovery” read all about the bizarre twists in the early history of the plant. The English call it the Devil’s Betel Box. Some locals call it pakma, patma, buah poot, krubut, malaboo, or refer to it as the flower of the spirits. Some call it simply Rafflesia, the largest flower on earth.
This beautiful book considers Rafflesia in both a popular and technical manner, and will be of interest to scientists and the general public alike. It is profusely illustrated with 152 colour photographs, 73 illustrations and ﬁgures, 22 case studies and special box features, and maps of the distribution of the species. The book delves into details of the occurrence, biology and conservation status of the 18 currently recognized species of Rafflesia, and is the most authoritative and up-to-date treatise on the subject. It also presents many original data, most of which are from the author’s own research and personal, first-hand experience with these extraordinary plants. It is an appealing account and will be a valuable addition to the book shelves of botanists, conservationists, and anyone else interested in the wonders of nature.
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