Sumatran Flora

Sumatra has some of the rarest and unusual plants and trees. The majority of Sumatra’s rainforest have been cleared for farming though there are still a number of National Parks remaining.

Sumatra is home to the Rafflesia arnoldi, the largest flower in the world, as well as the Amorphophalus titanum, the world’s tallest flower.

There are 16 different species of Rafflesia flowers found in Sumatra, Rafflesia Arnoldi being the largest flower in the world, discovered by Sir Stamford Raffles and Dr Joseph Arnold in May 1818. The plant flowers between August and November. The flower can weigh up to 10kgs and is sometimes referred to as the corpse flower because of the pungent smell it gives off, similar to rotting meat. The smell is only present, when flowering to attract flies to carry it’s sticky pollen to another plant. The Rafflesia Arnoldi can be see in the Rafflesia Sanctuary, near the village of Palupuh, 16km north of Bukkittinggi.

Other species include Rafflesia Gaduansi found in the Bung Hatta Nature Reserve near Padang, Rafflesia Acehensis and Rafflesia Zippelni can be found along the Alas River in Gunung Leuser National Park near Kutacane and Ketembe.

Amorphophalus titanum, the tallest flower as well as Rafflesia Arnoldi can also be found in the rainforests near Bengkulu. It only flowers once every three years and can stand over 2 meters tall.

Gunung Leuser National Park has glowing mushrooms that glow a luminescent green at certain times of the year.