Leon KlugeThe extraordinary giant water lily, Victoria amazonica

While visiting Mauritius I came across this pond filled with one of the world’s most extraordinary plants, the giant water lily Victoria amazonica. As the name suggests, it comes from the Amazon valley in northern Bolivia and Brazil and has floating leaves that grow up to a huge 2.5m (8 feet) in diameter and can support up to 55kg (120lb) in weight if it’s spread evenly across the leaf.

Watch my video to learn more about its unusual characteristics…including how it creates its own central heating and has sex-changing flowers.

 

Here’s a photo showing you the white female version of the flower:

Giant water lily, Victoria amazonica. Photo in Adelaide Botanic garden by Bilby. Creative Commons 3.0 licence

Giant water lily, Victoria amazonica. Photo in Adelaide Botanic garden by Bilby. Creative Commons 3.0 licence

 

And what it looks like after it’s changed sex overnight!

Victoria amazonica pink-purple male flower head. Photo by belgianchocolate. Creative Commons Licence 2.0

Victoria amazonica pink-purple male flower head. Photo by belgianchocolate. Creative Commons Licence 2.0

 

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Leon Kluge

About Leon Kluge

Leon Kluge is an award-winning landscape designer who was part of the successful South African team at Chelsea in both 2010 and 2012, and the Gardening World Cup in Japan in 2011, and then won a Gold medal at the 2013 Cup. Leon is known for his modern, contemporary landscapes, sustainable community projects and his specialisation in vertical gardens. His company Leon Kluge Landscape Design is based in north-eastern South Africa.

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