Santa Cruz water lily
- Scientific name: Victoria cruziana
- Family: Nymphaeaceae (water lily)
Giant aquatic herb found in South America. Leaves up to 2m in diameter, green colour with a small layer of fine hairs on underside. Flowers floating, large, up to 1m in diameter; petals white becoming pink or red. Fruits large, prickly, berry-like with many seeds. Seeds measure 1cm. Pollinated by Cylocephata castaneal beetle.
- The white flower opens in the early evening and is scented to attract and temporarily trap a beetle (Cylocephata castaneal) that pollinates the plant.
- The flower turns pink or red the following day and lowers back into the water.
- The hollow veins in the huge leaves give strength and buoyancy.
Where it grows
Slow moving waters in north Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia.