Smallest Rafflesia species discovered in Nueva Ecija

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- A team of biologists from the University of the Philippines (UP) recently discovered another rare and critically-endangered Rafflesia species thriving in the forests of Central Luzon.

An official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Friday that the newly discovered species is the smallest among the giant Rafflesia.

DENR Region III Director Francisco Milla Jr., said rafflesia consueloae was discovered recently in the more than 97,000-hectare Pantabangan-Carranglan watershed in Nueva Ecija province by a team of UP biologist led by Perry Ong.

According to research study, the parasitic plant R. consueloae is now considered as the smallest species among the giant Rafflesia flower with an average diameter of 9.73 centimeters.

Milla said that three years ago, a species of Rafflesia was also found in the forests of Central Luzon, the rafflesia manillana.

He explained that the species of R. manillana was found in full bloom during a biological survey inside the 5,000-ha Aurora Memorial National Park at the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

Rafflesia arnoldii, which thrives in Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia, is the largest flower in the world with a diameter of 1.5 meters.

In the Philippines, rafflesia schadenbergiana is the biggest recorded flower measuring about 0.8 meters in diameter and can be found in Mt. Apo in Davao. (JTD)

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