Victoria amazonica (Poepp.) J.C. Sowerby, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 2 6: 310 310 1850. (Syn: Euryale amazonica Poepp.);
Gaint Amazon Water Lily, Giant Water Lily, Royal water-lily, Victoria-lily;

Victoria amazonica is a species of flowering plant, the largest of the Nymphaeaceae family of water lilies. 

The species has very large leaves, up to 3 m in diameter, that float on the water’s surface on a submerged stalk, 7–8 m in length. The flowers are white the first night they are open and become pink the second night. They are up to 40 cm in diameter, and are pollinated by beetles. 
The species was once called Victoria regia after Queen Victoria, but the name was superseded.  
V. amazonica is native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin, such as oxbow lakes and bayous. It is depicted in the Guyanese coat of arms.  
(From Wikipedia on 19.9.13) 

It is said that it’s leave can take the weight of a well-balanced adult with their size going upto 3 meter in diameter. All pictures taken at Botanical Garden, Kolkata of the flower bud in Sept.2005 & flower in Nov.2005 (size going upto 12″) . 

For very interesting information, please click on the following links:
Excellent photographs. Attaching two more photographs taken on 05/08/2007.


Victoria amazonica (Poepp.) Sowerby
The species has very large leaves, up to 3 m in diameter, that float on the water’s surface on a submerged stalk, 7–8 m in length. The leaf is able to support quite a large weight due to the plant’s structure. To counter the fragile nature of the leaf, the weight needs to be distributed across the surface through mechanical means, such as a sheet of plywood. This allows the leaf to support up to 70 pounds.

Wow, nice one..

The plant shown in photographs are Victoria cruziana. and V. amazonica looks more or less like our Eurayle (makhana). The leaf rim wont exceed 3- 4 inches and the surface is maroon when young and maroon mixed green when matured. I am having one specimen on V. amazonica

I have gone through the differences at Victoria cruziana and V. amazonica, I feel it is V. amazonica only. This is very clear from the thorns on the buds

The entire bud (particularly the sepals) will be covered by thorns in V.amazonica. And the leaves are not at all bright green as in the  picture. The immature leaves are having dark maroon coloration in V.amazonica. Cruziana having thorn less sepals on the bud, the  intermediate cross longwood hybrid is more similar to cruziana.
Majority of the photographs found on internet are of V.cruziana or V.longwood hybrid. True Victoria photographs are hard to find out. i will update with photographs , my only v.amazonica is just 4 months

Thanks, … Pl. also see other threads at efi page at Victoria amazonica to be more clear.
One of the threads you can see from Botanical Garden, Kolkata by … is Shibpur Bot. : Victoria amazonica (Poepp.) J.C. Sowerby

Majority of the Botanical gardens in India and abroad are generally displaying V.cruziana and V.longwood hybrid. Including Kew, Howrah, JNTBGRI Trivandrum Botanical garden. Because it is more attractive than v.amazonica. True pictures of V.amazonica can be found in Fair child botanical garden. USA, web site.
Recently Longwood hybrid and cruziana has been collected from Howrah to Lalbagh gardens Bangalore. But they are not succesful yet in establishing the plant.
90% of the pictures available in the internet are of V.cruziana or V.longwood hybrid as both these are more attractive and quite suits the western climate well

Thank you very much for this interesting discussion. This is not V. cruziana A.D.Orb. as buds are prickly all over (please see the attached pic). Moreover, buds are squat, a feature of V. amazonica (Poepp.) J. C. Sowerby. I think leaf colour, and also colour of sepals do satisfy V.a. But, I am not sure about the width of the rim of these leaves. I don’t have stats. One doc says rim is 2 to 4 inches, another doc says 2 to 4 or 5 inches. Of course those measurement is for V. regia Lindl. and interestingly KEW takes the name as unresolved! It is also to be noted buds of V. Longwood hybrid are not squat and much less spiny. And there are other cultivars too! And famous it is !!!

Thank you very much Sir for this interesting discussion. I didn’t know there are several cultivars and hybrids of this amazing lily.

I think we have to finally go by the Expert advise at Victoria cruziana and V. amazonica, where the colour of the leaf is of least importance for identification purpose. The characteristics of the buds is the most easily recognizable.

this has turned into a very important informative thread. worth keeping it in top while the lily etc week will be on very nice discussion. Thanks to the experts

I learnt a lot and am still extracting data.
All this old pictures that I could dig up in my printed pictures  archive leaves a lot to be desired,  wants me to go to these Bot G and fly off to NY to look at those leaves in detail again or to Kew at least but will have to wait till next august when they will be full bloom again in the snowy climes, in Kol bot g I think we will find them in late spring again… in their full glory. Interesting find Longwood’s name in the hybridization madness,  Longwood’s pond is so small I wonder how did they ever make hybrids, unless they have hidden assets far off from the Bot G…


Shibpur Bot. : Victoria amazonica (Poepp.) J.C. Sowerby : 8 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (5).
Unbelievable, but I knew the name beforehand, for dailies carried articles featuring this wonder. KEW describes two closely related species –

Yes really amazing. I remember an old photograph in a book depicting a lady sitting on the floating leaf.

Yes …

Kodak’s own photography series used to have one also

very poignant

no matter how often i photograph them myself in any continent I am never satisfied with my colored pic results, since they can never compete with my childhood memory (idealized memory  of course )  of that one black and white fine grain photograph with the lady in white ( or it appeared white) …

you must have gone quite early, since at least one of the flowers is still half open and still white.

the deep purple of the flower (second day mostly)  …
also I remember there used to be a board by the lake many many years ago.. to declare its name… remember it as v. a. 

Thank you very much Sir, I wish to capture one shot like Garg Sir.

Didi, these photographs were recorded around 12.30 noon. In the morning I was in Santragachi, to record lesser whistling teal and other birds. Yes, I have read the colour changing natue of its flower.

Victoria amazonica
Kolkata Botanical garden



Victoria amazonica from AJCB Botanic Garden Howrah : 10 posts by 7 authors. Attachments (2)

In my visit to Botanic Garden of Howrah I was able to see this majestic water lily in flower. A long discussion is there in eFI page on the identity of species.

Amazing pictures …! Very lucky to see it blooming.

Is the plant native of Amazon? Is it true that a child can easily play over its leaf?
Thanks for sharing the wonderful plant.

Yes it is native of Brazil. The leaves can support 25-30 kg.

I am attaching herewith a photograph taken inside the chamber of Dr. A. Pramanik in the CNH building. Here, in the background you can see a photo on the wall – a girl is sitting on the leaves. 

Note that there is a double coconut also displayed in the room. 
Attachments (1)

Adding two more pictures from two books to demonstrate that leaves are really giant.
First picture (it is same as in the pic sent by Dr Chakrabarty) from:
Charkraverty, R.K. and Mukhopadhyay, D.P. 1990. A Directory of Botanic Gardens and Parks in India. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta. p.192.
and second from:
Chowdhery, H.J. and Pathak, D.S. 2007. Plants of Indian Botanic Gardens. Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata. p.772.
Attachments (2)

I heard that the leaves had to be supported by bamboo frame under water before taking these shots.

Nice Photographs …

I agree with … Because this leaf cant to support that much of weight as mentioned in notes (25-42). In my experience around 5 kg will be supported. 
Herewith I am attaching some photographs, taken from Howrah Botanic Garden in 2008.
Now Calicut University Botanical garden have some good collection of this plant.
Attachments (4)



Victoria amazonica (Poepp.) J.C. Sowerby : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (6)- around 1 mb each. 

Location: Kolkata, India
Date: 8 September 2017
Elevation : 25 ft.

You visited Botanical Garden. You could have informed me. Of course how you would know that I am staying nearby!

6 pictures for you – indiantreepix | Google Groups (mixed thread): 1 correct image as above.
Beautiful water lillies in sanjeeviaha park hyderbad





Victoria amazonica : Lalbagh Botanical Gardens : 20JAN20 : AK-26 : 6 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (8) + Attachments (2)
A new addition to the garden.

Pictures taken today. (20.1.20)

I was lucky to see a flower blooming yesterday, although not completely open. 
Attachments (2)