Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - A Rafflesia Arnoldii flower, measuring 55 centimeters in diameter, has bloomed in the protected forest area of Bukit Daun, Taba Penanjung Sub-district, Central Bengkulu District, Bengkulu Province.

"The flower is blooming perfectly and can be enjoyed for the next three days," said Gilang Ibnu, a resident who found the rare flower in Bengkulu on Monday.

Arnoldii Rafflesia is the largest flower in the world, with a diameter exceeding 100 centimeters.

Ibnu said that flower enthusiasts can visit the site of the blooming Rafflesia Arnoldii by walking as far as 20 meters into the forest.

Visitors only need to drive from the city of Bengkulu towards Kepahiang District, passing through the crossroad of Bengkulu-South Sumatra and then stopping at the 47th kilometer mark.

"We have placed a banner on the side of the road to allow visitors to find the spot where the flower is blossoming," he remarked.

In addition to the blooming flower, visitors can also see the bud of Rafflesia Arnoldii that is expected to blossom in the next few weeks.

Ibnu, in cooperation with a Rafflesia flower care group, has prepared a walkway to facilitate visitors to reach the site in the forest.

"We have also put up tents to protect the flower, as it is vulnerable to being damaged or stolen by irresponsible parties," he pointed out.

The visitors are not charged a levy to see the unique flower. Nevertheless, each visitor has to pay Rp5 thousand to take pictures with the flower.

A visitor named Namora expressed delight on watching the blooming Rafflesia flower in its habitat.

"It was a unique and rare experience to witness the rare Rafflesia flower blooming in its habitat. It should serve as a capital to develop the tourism in Bengkulu Province," Namora affirmed.

In addition to the Rafflesia Arnoldii flower, three different types of Rafflesia have been identified in the forests of Bengkulu: Rafflesia Bengkuluensis, Rafflesia Gadutensis, and Rafflesia Hasselti.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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