Santa Cruz Water Lily, Victoria cruziana

Victoria cruziana is a tropical water lily species. The species may also be referred to as the Santa Cruz water lily, the Water platter or the Yrupe. V. cruziana is a member of the Nymphaeaceae family. The plant is found in South America, specifically Argentina and Paraguay. The very first known V. cruziana species was discovered in Bolivia. Specimens were collected and sent to France where they were named.

Victoria cruziana roots itself at the water garden’s bottom and grows upwards. The plant’s leaves and flower sits atop the water’s surface. Its flower can grow to approximately 10 inches in diameter, while its leaves are 4.5-5 feet in diameter. The flower is a pure white color on its first night of bloom and subsequent days bring a deep pink coloration until its final day of bloom. The plant’s flower attracts beetles that will pollinate the species. Its sweet scent when in bloom draws the insect in.

Image Caption:  Santa Cruz water lily (Victoria cruziana). Credit: USDA/Wikipedia (public domain)