Rafflesia meijeri Wiriadinata & Sari
The species is named for the late Willem Meijer (1923-2003) who spent much of his adult life studying Rafflesia.
This species was named in the following
Wiriadinata H. and R. Sari. 2010. A new species of Rafflesia (Rafflesiaceae) from North Sumatra. Reinwardtia 13: 95-100.
Rafflesia meijeri is known
only from the Recreation Nature Forest (TWA) Sicikeh–cikeh, North
Sumatra, about 1.5 km from Laehole village. At present only male plants
were obtained at the type locality. Morphologically, this species
is very similar to R. rochussenii which is known only from West Java. Both lack processes on the disk (R. rochussenii var. subaculeata
may have 1-8 processes). Table 1 in Wiriadinata and Sari
(2010) compares these two species. Most of the features are
quantitative in nature (flower diameter, disk diameter, etc.), and such
characters should be viewed with extreme caution given the tremendous
plasticity exhibited in other Rafflesia species (see Barcelona et al. 2011 HERE
for a discussion of this topic). Despite the similarities, the
authors show that the two species differ in ramenta morphology and
of the perigone lobe warts. Given these features, and the geographic
separation of the two species, I am listing this here as a new species.
A similar situation occurs with the Philippine species R. aurantia which superficially appears similar to R. tengku-adlinii from Borneo. Future molecular phylogenetic studies will hopefully clarify these situations.
Open flower. Photo taken by Mistar Kamsi. Indonesia, Island of
Sumatra, Pidie Regency, Guempang District, Krueng Ciko, 10.65 air km NE
of Lhok Kuala
Fully open flower of Rafflesia meijeri; photo from Wiriadinata and Sari (2010).
SIUC / College of Science / Parasitic Plant
Connection / Rafflesiaceae
Last updated: 12-Aug-16 / dln