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[ruh-flee-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh, ra-] /rəˈfli ʒə, -ʒi ə, -zi ə, ræ-/
any stemless, leafless, parasitic plant of the genus Rafflesia, of the Malay Peninsula and Republic of Indonesia, characterized by apetalous flowers, measuring 3 in.–3 feet (8 cm–90 cm) in diameter, that exude a putrid odor: now greatly reduced in number.
Origin of rafflesia
< New Latin (1821), after T. S. Raffles, who obtained the type specimen Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for rafflesia


any of various tropical Asian parasitic leafless plants constituting the genus Rafflesia, esp R. arnoldi, the flowers of which grow up to 45 cm (18 inches) across, smell of putrid meat, and are pollinated by carrion flies: family Rafflesiaceae
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, named after T. S. Raffles, who discovered it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rafflesia



genus of Malaysian plants, 1820, named for Sir T. Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), British governor of Sumatra, who introduced it to the West. He reports the native name was petimum sikinlili "Devil's betel-box."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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