The rare water lily, native to tropical regions such as the Amazon River basin, can produce lily pads or floating leaves up to eight-feet across.
The ‘Longwood hybrid’ is a giant among aquatic plants with its spectacular and spiny lily pads and exquisite white flowers that open at night. These South American natives are found growing in the calm backwaters of the Amazon River where they produce flowers that last only two or three days. This plant’s varied textures, colors, and shapes offer beauty and grace throughout the year.
Victoria exhibits some extraordinary structural characteristics. A notch in the middle of the leaf rim allows rainwater to drain from the surface of each pad. Spectacular sharp spines cover the underside of the leaves, the stems, and the flower buds, protecting the leaves from animals and fish. A web-like structure of hollow ribs supports the underside of the leaves; these ribs are filled with air and provide for exceptional buoyancy. In an experiment using sandbags, Victoria were found to support up to 300 pounds on a single pad. Young plants can grow at an amazing rate, exhibiting increases in individual pad diameter of over eight inches in one day.