In the land of superlatives that the Amazon rainforest is, just about everything comes super-sized.
Whether we talk about Amazon rainforest trees (the giant Kapok tree is a good example), Amazon rainforest animals (capybara for instance, biggest rodent on Earth), or Amazon rainforest plants, there is always something that stands out above the crowd.
Ever heard about Vitória Régia or Victoria Amazónica?...It is the largest aquatic plant, the largest water lily in the whole wide world.
The giant Amazon lily has leaves over two meters in diameter that float on the water's surface on a submerged stalk - seven to eight meters in length...
When you make it to the Amazon rainforest trekking off the beaten path, or canoeing any of the deep-forest tributaries of the mighty Amazon river, keep an eye on the Vitória Régia. It grows largest in murky, shallow waters and swamps, where there are more nutrients than in the clear, flowing water.
Vitória Régia (Victoria Amazónica or giant Amazon lily) was discovered in the early 1800s and named after Queen Victoria of England. It's one of about forty species of water lily, found throughout the year but harder to find in the dry season. Flowers are white the first night they are open and become pink the second night. Leaves margins have upturned edges that allows water to drain off the leaves, and prickly so as to prevent fish from eating them.
To learn more about the giant Amazon water lily visit Victoria Adventure.