Rafflesia arnoldii blooms up in 21 locations

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - The flower arnoldii of rafflesia has been found blooming in 21 locations throughout Bengkulu Province, reports Agus Susatya, a researcher at Bengkulu University.

"According to the report, most `Rafflesia arnoldii` bloom up in Bengkulu Province, although the species also grows along the Bukit Barisan Mountains," Susatya said here on Tuesday.

He further noted that until 2011, there were 21 documented locations of "Rafflesia arnoldii", though several of these locations no longer have the flowers due to natural or man-made reasons.

The locations of the flower were spread from N. Bengkulu to S. Bengkulu and also in Rajang Lebong Region and Seluma Region.

Based on the report, `Rafflesia arnoldii`, the flower was found blooming in 14 locations during 2011, mostly at eight sites in the Bukit Daun Conservation Forest and three sites in the Taba Penanjung Reserve.

Unfortunately, Susatya said the blooming of "Rafflesia arnoldii" was not receiving serious attention to develop its tourism potential, though the Bukit Daun Conservation is the most accessible location among the group.

"Based on the frequency of the flowers blooming and the accessibility of the location, it will have a great potential to develop the economy through ecological tourism," he said.

He further added that the protection of "Rafflesia arnoldii" needs to be more of a concern of conservation experts, the community and those involved in ecological tourism.

Bengkulu also has other species of rafflesia, the "gadutensis", "hasselty" and "bengkuluensis", which are relatively rare.

Susatya added that Indonesia has the world`s largest number of rafflesia among the 25 recorded species, as twelve of them grow in Indonesia and four species are endemic plants of Bengkulu.

(A060/INE/001)

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