|From the top Photo by LAM|
It wasn't long before the mysterious Victoria Water Lily took center stage. Ruling the pool, Victoria amazonica and Victoria cruziana hold court with their love child, the Longwood Hybrid. Again and again since my arrival at Longwood, I have puzzled over the nickname of this plant--"The Seductress." This was the perfect day to find out the thought behind the name.
To begin, she is the largest water lily in existence. Her round platter shaped leaves can measure up to 8 feet across and can bear a 40 lb. weight. The flowers are large too--about 12 inches. This indicates she is strong--appropriately named for Queen Victoria--but a seductress? I wasn't convinced.
|the insides Photo by LAM|
|She'll get you Photo by LAM|
After spending the day with the Victoria, here is my evaluation of her nickname: She's beautifully alluring. Her pollination story is spell binding. She's devilish enough to puncture your finger or your backside (the needles can poke through the fabric of the waders) and yet she leaves you looking forward to the next encounter. So fascinating is she, that all of the first year Longwood Graduate Fellows are now planning a trip to Brazil just to see her pollinated in her native Amazon...She sounds exactly like a seductress to me.
*For more information on the Victoria, please read Dr. Tomasz Anisko's blog post, Magic by Moonlight.