Floral Gigantism in Rafflesiaceae. 2007. C. C. Davis, et al. Science 315: 1812
We present results of phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial, nuclear, and plastid data showing that Rafflesiaceae are derived from within Euphorbiaceae, the spurge family. Most euphorbs produce minute flowers, suggesting that the enormous flowers of Rafflesiaceae evolved from ancestors with tiny flowers.
Given the inferred phylogeny, we estimate that there was a circa 79-fold increase in flower diameter on the stem lineage of Rafflesiaceae, making this one of the most dramatic cases of size evolution reported for eukaryotes.
Return of the Giant Hogweed: