Victoria

Scientific name

Victoria Lindl.

Common names

giant water platter

Family

Nymphaeaceae

Could be confused with

Euryale, Nelumbo

Native distribution

South America

Species commonly cultivated

Victoria amazonica (Poepp.) J.C. Sowerby (Amazon River tributaries)

V. cruziana A.D. Orb. (Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay)

Adventive distribution

none

Weed status

not weedy

Habit

rooted, attached rosette with floating leaves

Brief description

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.

Natural habitat

lakes, pools, and slow flowing rivers

Additional comments

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.