Victoria amazonica (Poepp.) J. C. Sowerby
Amazon Water Lily, Giant Amazon Water Lily, Giant Water Lily, Royal Water Lily, Victoria Lily
Euryale amazonica, Victoria regia, Victoria regina
Color: White and pink
Bloom Time: July to August
Victoria amazonica is a plant with very large leaves that float on the water's surface on a submerged, up to 26 feet (8 m) long stalk. The leaves are up to 10 feet (3 m) in diameter. The underside of the leaves is coppery red. Flowers are white and up to 16 inches (40 cm) in diameter. The first night they are open and become pink the second night.
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. However, 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 fall. 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. 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 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 are that it does not float, is rich in nutrients, and can enclose the fertilizer contained in the 'feed bombs' given to the plant.
This species is native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin.
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