'Monstrous' flower attracts victims with smell of decay

A "monstrous" flower mimics the smell of a rotting corpse in order to attract victims, according to footage shown in David Attenborough's latest BBC series, The Green Planet.

The footage, shot in a rainforest in Costa Rica, shows the parasitic rafflesia, or the corpse flower. It is the biggest flower in the world and measures at around 3.2ft across.

In order to survive, a male rafflesia attracts flies into its center by disguising itself as a rotting corpse, both in sight and smell. The parasitic plant then attaches pollen to the fly's back, where it will be carried to a female. 

Wales-based botanist and plant conservationist Dr. Trevor Dines, was not involved in the series, but commented on the clip. He told Newsweek: "The spectacular appearance of the Rafflesia carrion flower on the forest floor was particularly stunning ...The buds take many months to swell and open, looking like inflating cabbages as they do.

Read the complete article at www.newsweek.com.

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