Mt. Irid: A Haven of Rich Biodiversity
I first documented our Mt. Irid experience last August 2014 in the entry mt. irid: gateway to the mossy forest and i have photographed some of the rich biodiversity this mountain has to offer but who would have thought that deep down the forest of Mt. Irid we will find an addition to the richness of its biodiversity we found the most celebrated flower in Malaysia called Rafflesia. On our second climb to Mt. Irid the other day (March 12, 2016) an overnight hike of Lakwatserong Sulit Adventures we were so lucky that along the trail we saw this Rafflesia Manillana. (I’m not so sure if I am correct with the specie but it looks like it as I further my research).
I found this Rafflesia just a kilometer away from the bunkhouse in Sitio Sadlac where the military 2nd ID is currently situated. It is will hidden under a pile of dried leaves and small branches just a feet away along the steep trail to the summit. Luckily, I saw the petal and I got curious so I removed the dried leaves and branches that covers the flower. I am not sure at first because I’ve never known that this flower exist in this mountain. Once I removed the dried leaves and branches I recognized it as the Rafflesia in its blooming stage. I was fascinated and got excited to take photograph of it and realized I was cleaning the entire area including removing the soil inside the flower and I even thought that I was doing psittacism to my co-mountaineer explaining what I just found. I am pretty excited because it’s been years since I first saw this flower, as far as I can remember it was way back when I was a kid when my grandfather showed me this flower in the trail to his farm in Mt. Asog.
The Rafflesia being known as the largest flower in the world has also earned the name “Corpse Flower” because of its foul odor, which some say smells like rotting flesh during its full bloom stage. The foul smell of Rafflesia according to research is the way of attracting flies to serve as its pollinator unlike other flowers that attracts bees. Continue reading