The huge plant was in the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It has grown in many aquatic groups, but is only now identified as a completely different species. Experts say this is a novelty in science.
Record holder among water lilies. The plant is considered the largest water lily in the world. Its leaves are more than 3 meters wide. Although she “hid in plain sight” for 177 years, according to the BBC, it took less than two centuries for it to come under close scrutiny.
The plant is named after the famous Queen Victoria and Bolivia – “Victoria Bolivia”. In this South American country, a giant lily grows in one of the water reservoirs in part of the Amazon basin.
Gardener Carlos Magdalena is one of the world’s leading experts on water lilies. It has long been suspected that the plant is different from the other two known types of giants. We are talking about “Victoria amazonica” and “Victoria cruziana”. He described the discovery as “the highlight of his career”.
Scientists have discovered a new species of giant lily. They come from Bolivia
The man collaborated with scientists from Bolivia. They are representatives of the National Herbarium of Bolivia, the Botanical Gardens of Santa Cruz and the State Botanical Garden of La Rinconada. Carlos Magdalena collected some seeds and brought them back to Kew Gardens.
we can grow it [“Victoria boliviana” – red.] Together with two other types [Victoria amazonica” i “Victoria cruziana” – red.] Under exactly the same conditions. Once we did that, we could see very clearly that every part of the plant was completely different, the gardener told BBC News.
Lucy Smith is a botanical painter working with Carlos. She made detailed scientific drawings for all three genres. I was able to highlight all the differences I noticed between the species. “When I was painting, I started to see these differences more. I found new ways to distinguish lilies,” she said.
Lucy Smith added, “Maybe I’m biased, but I’m thinking of the three, the new species has one of the most beautiful flowers.”
The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is a group of greenhouses, gardens and “water houses” located in west London. Covering an area of 121 hectares, it houses one of the most important collections of plants in the world. Among them, there is also a house of water lilies, built in 1852.
Giant lilies were discovered in the 19th century. It was hailed as one of the natural wonders of the era, named after Queen Victoria. Dr. Alex Munro of Royal Botanic Gardens (RGB) Kew explained: “Neither of the three species has been well studied. We still don’t know how many groups there are or how different their sizes are.”
We don’t really understand the biology of pollination. Little is known about the spread of the species – how it moves from one place to another. There are still many unknowns. I think it’s so huge — and so obvious — that people didn’t really think to study it in that detail.”
See also: It was about strength. This is why Queen Victoria has up to 9 children
Rate our article quality:
Your feedback helps us create better content.
“Food practitioner. Music junkie. Avid troublemaker. Hipster-friendly creator. Social media lover. Wannabe pop culture fanatic.”