Humungus water lilly – Victoria amazonica
The world is a mysterious place with a lot of unknown things. This series is to undiscover some of such unknown plants. This time let us put some light on ‘Victoria amazonica’!
Kew Gardens, the Victorian plant museum, has a proud collection of these water lilies. The leaves grow up to three meters across! The edges bend up to avoid overlapping with their neighbors, and the undersides are thorny to protect against being eaten. A mature lily pad can support an evenly distributed load of 45 kilograms, or, apparently, a baby.
Their flowers are huge and beautiful, and can only be seen at night. On the first night, the flowers are white, female. and fragrant, and trap beetles inside themselves; on the second night they are pink, unscented, and male, and let the beetles loose, dusted with pollen, to seek a fragrant white female flower open for its own first night. If you see the flowers at daybreak, you can watch them close up rather quickly.
Hope this was useful to you. Next time we will meet you with yet again a different plant! Till then happy farming! Thank you!