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Largest and Smallest Flowers (Grade 3)

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Largest and Smallest Flowers

The Largest Flower in the World
The flower with the world's largest bloom is the Rafflesia arnoldii. This rare flower is found in the rainforests of Indonesia. It can grow to be 3 feet across and weigh up to 15 pounds! It is a parasitic plant and has no visible leaves, roots, or stem. It attaches itself to a host plant to obtain water and nutrients. When in bloom, the Rafflesia emits a repulsive odor. It smells similar to rotting meat. This odor attracts insects that pollinate the plant.

Another enormous flower found in Indonesia is the Amorphophallus titanum, or Titan arum. It is also known as the "corpse flower" for its unpleasant odor. Like the Rafflesia, the Titan emits the smell of rotting flesh to attract pollinators. Technically, the Titan arum is not a single flower. It is a cluster of many tiny flowers. TThe plant can reach heights of 7 to 12 feet and weigh as much as 170 pounds!

The Smallest Flower in the World
Water-meal is one of the duckweeds in the family Lemnaceae. The plant itself averages 1/42” long and 1/85” wide or about the size of one candy sprinkle. It can weigh about 1/190,000 of an ounce, equivalent to two grains of table salt. They are very hard to see! Imagine if you tried to fill a thimble with them -- you would need some 5000 plants!

Each Wolffia flower consists of a single pistil and stamen; it also produces the world’s smallest fruit, called a utricle. The plant is found in quiet freshwater lakes or marshes with species worldwide. Since the plants have no roots, they can easily float on the surface of the water, where they resemble cornmeal. Water-meal is sometimes used in cold-water aquaria since it is easy to propagate.
Where does the smallest flower in the world grow?
  1. In rainforests
  2. In watery areas
  3. In Indonesia
  4. On other plants
Why is the Titan arum not technically the largest flower in the world?
  1. The Rafflesia arnoldii is bigger
  2. It is made up of smaller flowers
  3. Water-meal is bigger
  4. It isn't technically a flower
What is NOT an item the author uses to show how small water-meal is?
  1. Duckweed
  2. Sprinkle
  3. Thimble
  4. Table salt
What is most unique about both the Rafflesia arnoldii and the Titan arum?
  1. They can grow up to 15 pounds.
  2. They can be 3 feet across.
  3. They smell like rotting meat.
  4. They have no visible stem.
Why is the Titan arum called "a corpse flower"?
  1. Because of its size
  2. Because of its smell
  3. Because of its color
  4. Because of its lifespan

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