Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Victoria amazonica (Poepp.) Sowerby
Victoria cruziana A. D. Orb
The genus Victoria represents the giant water lilies. The most famous, Victoria amazonica, is the largest of all the waterlilies with leaves sometimes nearly 3 m in diameter, on stalks 7-8 m in length. Victoria is named after Queen Victoria. V. amazonica was once called V. regia, but the species name was superseded.
V. amazonica is native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin, such as oxbow lakes and bayous. The flowers are white the first night they are open and become pink the second night. They are up to 40 cm in diameter, and are pollinated by beetles.
A second species, V. cruziana, in the Parana-Paraguay basin which is only slightly smaller, with the underside of the leaves purple rather than the red of V. amazonica, and covered with a peachlike fuzz lacking in V. amazonica. V. cruziana opens its flowers at dusk.
A third type, V. mattogrossensis or V. cruziana var. mattogrossensis, found in the pantanal region, resembles V. cruziana except in having huge seeds.
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