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Rafflesia
INDONESIA
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The Indonesian's General Flora

The rich flora of Indonesia contains many unique examples of tropical plant life and manifestations. Rafflesia Arnoldi which is found only in certain parts of Sumatra is the plant with the largest flower in the world; this parasitic plant grows on certain lianas but does not produce leaves. From the same area in Sumatra comes another giant, Amorphophallus Titanum, with the largest inflorescence of it's kind. The insect trapping pitcher plants (Nepenthea Spp) are represented by different kind of species from many areas in western Indonesia. The myriads of orchids found in Indonesia are rich in species, varying in size from the largest of all orchids, the tiger orchids Grammatophyllum Speciosum, to the tiny and leafless species of Taeniophyllum used by the local people as source of food, medecine and handicraft. The forest ground in Indonesia is so rich in litter enabling a multitude of fungi to grow luxuriantly, including the horse hair blight, the luminicent species, the sooty mould and the blackmildew.

Moreover, the flora making up the Indonesian vegetation abounds in timber species. The dipterocarp family is world famous as the main source of timber the meranti as well as resin and vegetable fat, tengkawang or illipe nuts. Ramin, a valuable kind of timber for furniture, is obtained from species of Gonystylus, whereas Sandalwood, Ebony, Uli and the Kayu Palembang are taken directly from the forest. Besides, Indonesia is also known for its teakwood, a product of man made forest in Java.

In view of the richness of Indonesian flora it is not surprising that the Indonesian people are depending heavily on these natural resources to support their daily life. Approximately 6,000 species of Indonesian plants are known to be used directly or indirectly by the local people. Most charecteristic in this modern time is probably the use of plants as the source of raw material for Indonesia's traditional herbal medicine (jamu) and as indespensable part in ceremonies, customs and traditions.

"My sister gave birth in a state-of-the-art delivery room," said one man to another. "It was so hi-tech that the baby came out cordless."

Current Comedy for Reader's digest. February, 1983.



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