"The plant has no stems, leaves or roots. It is a holoparasite of vines."
Since it doesn't have to work to eat, like any great empire, it has superlative monuments.
"The flowers look and smell like rotting flesh."
"They are thus, in a way, hyperparasites, because Tetrastigma are themselves, in a way, structural parasites of the trees they use to climb up to the light."
To get a State to form, first you need to sin badly. It's a symptom of disease.
Rafflesia attracts corpse-feeding flies. You know, disease vectors.
The disease vectors then mistakenly lay their eggs on the fake corpse, killing their own offspring for the sake of the rafflesia, the same way states reliably betray their closest allies.
Which are themselves disease vectors. Saying it again because I wanted to make sure you caught that.
What if parasitism is ugly.
Indonesia has made rafflesia one of its national flowers. Because, you know, when I think of what I want to represent me, I think of a fucking dead body. I guess there were jealous of the self-owns some other parts of the world are known for, and wanted in on that.