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Queen Victoria’s Water Lily (Victoria amazonica)

This is a very fascinating water lily due to its size. It is wide enough and even strong enough, to support a young human. Just be careful because it is still a plant and you can go right through it. What else can we learn about this massive water lily?

Physical Description and Behavior

The Queen Victoria's Water Lily looks a lot like a typical water lily, with the exception of it being upwards of 10 feet in diameter. They float on the surface, attached to a stalk that can be about 26 feet long. They also appear next to flowers which are white when the first bloom, but may turn pink after several hours. These flowers can be 16 inches wide, and only lest less than 48 hours before dying.

The flowers release a scent that attracts beetles. After the beetles arrive, the flower closes, trapping the beetles inside to be covered by the pollen. After it reopens, the beetles fly to a different flower and the process starts all over again.

While these lily pads are green on top, they are usually red on the bottom and have spikes to protect it from more herbivorous fish. Although some cultures do use their seeds as a source of food.

Habitat and Location

These water lilies are found around the Amazon, but have also been found in Bangladesh and Vietnam as well. They are mainly found in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, and Venezuela, mainly near the Amazon River basin.

They are not considered to be endangered, but they are very finicky amount being in the proper conditions. So it is important to see how they might be impacted by climate change.

Check out this video by Nat Geo to learn more about it:

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