rafflesia bud

The rafflesia plant draws pollinators with its bad 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.

This plant is a parasite. It finds another plant to attach itself to and feed off of. Soon, a bud forms, and a flower grows. Like the corpse flower, it smells bad. This attracts flies that pollinate it.


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

Rising Giant

The sun shines down on a green bamboo plant in Sumatra. It 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. It’s the fastest growing plant on Earth. At 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. These are just a handful of ways plants‑survive.