Victoria cruziana – also known as Victoria water lily – is a tropical sort of a water plant that received its name in honor of Queen Victoria and president Andrés de Santa Cruz. The latter sponsored an expedition to Bolivia whereby this plant was discovered.
Victoria water lilies in Taiwan
The main attraction of Shuangxi Park in Taipei, Taiwan are enormous leaves of Victoria water lilies allowing visitors to get a frog’s life experience. Remember frogs jumping from one pad to another? An exhibition arranged by the City Parks gave light adults and children weighing below 63 kg actually have a seat on those leaves.
The local office has been organizing these excursions since 2014, and they became very popular. However, in 2018 it was decided that the August series of sessions might be the last ones because of the local climate changes and excessive amounts of harmful insects preventing the plants’ leaves from growth. Snails and cutworms use plants as food, and damages they leave make the pads unable to develop. Twelve sessions letting not more than sixty visitors sit down on the leaves were held in August 2018.
According to the Horticulture Management Division, the workers had been taking such good care of the plants and protecting them from any threats caused by climate and fauna that several pads had become as big as 1.5 meters in diameter. Nevertheless, the plants are rare and deceitfully fragile, the visitors could spend only less than a minute on their leaves. A transparent plastic cover was also used in order to protect the pads.
Paraguay water lilies
South America is another (actually home) place on the planet where this impressive plant can be explored. The same species of lilies – with gigantic pads – recrudesced in a Paraguayan lagoon, after not being active for over ten years. The plants entered into a list of species threatened with extinction in 2006. However, they appeared again in 2018, in Paraguay River inflow running through Piquete Cue town. Boat trips down the river were soon offered to those wishing to observe this curious plant from a closer distance.
The locals considered the lily pads to be gone for good because of bed deepening and people pulling them out of the water. Today, anyone attempting to extract the plant is amerced, due to the plant’s dying out condition. Earlier, though, they were used in the function of a remedy for reactive airway diseases and other breathing issues.
Paraguayans gave water lily Victoria the name of an “alligator lily”, for its ability to hide an entire crocodile beneath its huge leaves. The lily flowers with white-and-pink blossom in its center which flourishes during a short period of two natural days in a row.