Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - Four researchers from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) are currently studying the habitat of rare and giant flower, Rafflesia bengkuluensis, in Kaur forest, Bengkulu Province.

The study focused on the environment where the Rafflesia flowers grow and their relations with other plants, Imawan Hidayat, researcher on plant conservation and ecology of LIPI, said here, recently.

Rafflesia bengkuluensis is one of Rafflesia species existing in highland forests on Sumatra Island.

Other species found in Sumatra include Rafflesia arnoldii, Rafflesia gadutensis and Rafflesia hasselti.

"Kaur forest has become the habitat and identification location of Rafflesia bengkuluensis," he noted.

The five-day research also tries to identify other endemic plants of Bengkulu.

The research is also participated in by Muhamad Muhaimin who is expert on plant taxonomy, and two technicians.

Noprianto, coordinator of the Youth Community of Padang Guci Caring for Rare Flowers (KPPGPPL) in Kaur said Padang Guci has at least three habitats of Rafflesia bengkuluensis, among other things near Penangkulan River and in Sakaian Mayan forest area.

Of 32 Rafflesia species in the world, 22 are found in Indonesia, spreading across the islands of Sumatra, Java and Borneo.

Bengkulu dubbed "The Land of Rafflesia" is one of few habitats of the worlds largest and rarest gigantic Rafflesia species that are only found in southeastern Asian forests of Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines.

Rafflesia is the official state flower of Indonesia, the Sabah state in Malaysia, and also for the Surat Thani Province of Thailand.


Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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