giant water platter
Species commonly cultivated
Victoria amazonica (Poepp.) J.C. Sowerby (Amazon River tributaries)
V. cruziana A.D. Orb. (Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay)
Annual. Stem a short rhizome. Leaves in a rosette; juvenile leaves submerged, mature leaves floating; petiole elongate, blade and petiole densely covered with large spines; juvenile leaf blade linear, sagittate or ovate; mature leaf blade very large (1.8 meters or more in diameter), peltate, orbicular with entire, upturned margin. Flower solitary, large and very showy; pedicel covered with large spines; sepals 4, with or without spines; petals numerous, large, white, pink or red. Dispersal by seed.
lakes, pools, and slow flowing rivers
Victoria is by far one of the largest and most spectacular aquatic plants. Mature leaf blades are large and buoyant enough to support the weight of a human. Two species are known: V. amazonica tends to have larger, redder leaves with rather low rims, while V. cruziana is greener, with higher rims.