Malaysian nature owns very rare and unique species, and probably some of them can break Guinness records with its size, weight or weird features. Among them, rafflesia has a fame as the biggest single flower in the world.
Rafflesia is a parasitic plant, which grows in a wild only in Southeast Asia. Malaysia is proud to have seven species, with two being endemic to the country—Rafflesia keithii is found in the Lohan Valley of Sabah and Rafflesia tuan-mudae in Gunung Gading National Park. The best starting point for rafflesia flower search is the Tambunan Rafflesia Information Centre, located about one-two hours south of Kota Kinabalu.
The biggest representative of this genus is Rafflesia arnoldii, which also inhabits Malaysian lands. Its flower can reach 1 meter in diameter and weigh up to 10 kilograms. Rafflesia is also called by local people as a "corpse flower" because during the blooming period its smell is similar to the one of decomposing meat. In fact, this is necessary to attract flies who assist pollination.
Rafflesia flower lives from three to five days only. There is no exact blooming season of Rafflesia, but it is believed that rainy season is more favourable. Thus, if you want to visit Sabah region, where there is the highest concentration of these plants, monsoon period in April-May or September-October would be perfect.