illustration of planet Earth with clouds.
illustration of planet Saturn.

Victoria amazonica

Week 19
Year 2016
Elegant Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria elegans) by Björn S...
Image Credit: "Victoria amazonica in Brno Botanical garden glasshouse." by Frettie © CC BY-SA 3.0

To offset the size of last week's plant, meet this floating monster; Victoria amazonica. Also known as the Giant Water Lily, the circular leaves of this aquatic plant can reach a diameter of over 8 feet. At that size it is no surprise that the Giant Water Lily is Native to the massive Amazon river.[1] Besides its jaw-dropping leaves, the flowers are also a marvel to be looked at. The flowers are only around for a period of 2-3 days. After the flower first opens up the petals are white, but not for long. With a thermochemical reaction the temperature of the flower can go up as much as 20oF to attract beetles, which pollinates the plant. Interestingly, the flower traps the beetle after the first day by closing around it. Then, the flower, which has changed colors to a pink, opens up and releases the beetle.[2]

Do you know any fun facts or tips?


[1]: "Victoria Amazonica (giant Waterlily)." Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Accessed May 23, 2016.

[2]: Davit, Jennifer. "Victoria: The Reigning Queen of Waterlilies." Virtual Herbarium. Accessed May 23, 2016.