Victoria amazonica (Amazon Water Lily)

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Scientific Name

Victoria amazonica (Poepp.) J. C. Sowerby

Common Names

Amazon Water Lily, Giant Amazon Water Lily, Giant Water Lily, Royal Water Lily, Victoria Lily

Synonyms

Euryale amazonica (basionym), Victoria regia, Victoria regina

Scientific Classification

Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Victoria

Flower

Color: White and pink
Bloom Time: July to August

Description

Victoria amazonica has very large leaves up to 10 feet (3 m) in diameter, that float on the water’s surface on a submerged stalk up to 26 feet (8 m) long. Underside of leaf is coppery red. The flowers are up to 16 inches (40 cm) in diameter, and white in color. The first night they are open and become pink the second night.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

In the wild the giant waterlily is a short-lived perennial, but at Kew, Royal Botanic Gardens it is raised as an annual from seed planted each January.

In summer the flowers are hand-pollinated and then placed in a bag. This enables easy collection of the resulting seed, in the autumn. The seeds must be kept moist, preferably in water, all the time. To prevent premature germination, or death, they are kept at a constant temperature of 15 °C. In order to begin germination it is sometimes necessary to nick the seed with a scalpel, after which germination occurs in ten days. In January the newly germinated seed is pricked out into a tiny pot which is kept in water. As the plant grows, potting on into larger pots is carried out until the plant occupies a one ton pot. Loam is used as a substrate, the key factors for this choice being that it does not float, it is rich in nutrients and it has the capacity to enclose the fertilizer that is contained in the ‘feed bombs’ given to the plant…. – See more at: How to Grow and Care for an Amazon Water Lily (Victoria amazonica)

Origin

Victoria amazonica is native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin.

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