Aug 8, 2013

Picture of the Day: The Giant Amazon Water Lily

 

THE GIANT AMAZON WATER LILY

 

giant-amazon-water-lily

Photograph by The Living Rainforest

 

Seen here is the underside of a Giant Amazon Water Lily, growing at the Living Rainforest. In 2002 it set a world record with a leaf that measured 2.65 meters (8 ft, 6.5 inches). The lily is a hybrid between the two South American species; Victoria amazonica and V. cruziana. It was first raised in 1960 by Patrick Nutt at Longwood Gardens in America.

With flowers measuring 30 cm (12 in) wide and leaf stalks that can exceed 6 m (20 ft) long, this amazing plant was first discovered in 1801 in a slow moving tributary of the Amazon River. Additionally, the Living Rainforest states:

“The lily is well defended from fish and other animals by sharp spines on the flower buds, leaf stalks, and underside of leaves. In contrast, the leaf surface feels smooth to touch and slightly rubbery. The pads have tremendous buoyancy from a web-like structure of veins – all filled with air. The leaf pads can even support the weight of a well balanced adult.”

Located in Hampstead Norreys, a village in Berkshire, England; the Living Rainforest plants a young water lily every year in May. The leaves grow several inches a day and reach the edge of their pool by August, when the lily also flowers.

 

 

 

 

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