rafflesia bud

The rafflesia plant draws pollinators with its horrible smell.

Giant Freeloader

The rain forests of Indonesia are home to another big and stinky flower. The rafflesia plant has the largest‑known flower in the world. It can grow up to 1.1 meters (3.5 feet) wide. It can weigh as much as 25 footballs.

This plant is a parasite. It has no leaves, roots, or stems. It finds another plant—a host plant—to attach itself to. Then it uses this plant as a source for nutrients and water. Eventually, a bud forms and grows into a flower. Like the corpse flower, it smells bad. Yet, it’s the perfect scent to attract the flies that pollinate it.


You can watch tortoise‑shell bamboo grow before your eyes.

Rising Giant

The sun rises and shines down on an emerald green bamboo plant in Sumatra. The plant stands about a meter (3 feet) high. By sunset, this plant will be 1.8 meters (6 feet) tall! It is the tortoise‑shell bamboo, the fastest growing plant on Earth. Bamboos are giant, woody grasses. When they are buds, they are tiny. However, with a growth rate of 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) per hour, you can actually watch it grow.

Some plants live to extremes. Killer seeds; trees that sting; leaves that hunt; and flowers that smell like a dumpster are just a handful of ways plants have adapted to survive.