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Victoria Regia
Victoria regia, a water-lily named in honour of Queen Victoria

Giant Waterlily Navigator

The gigantic waterlily from South America, Victoria regia, now Victoria amazonica, was discovered in 1801 and named in honor of Queen Victoria in 1838.

It first germinated in England in 1849 at the Royal Gardens, Kew.
The first European flowering occurred at Chatsworth, where Joseph Paxton had constructed a greenhouse especially to house it.

An impressive folio book was comissioned to coincide with the first flowering of the plant, illustrated by Kew artist Walter Hood Fitch. This is one of the most spectacular examples.

Move around a close up image of this highly detailed lithograph using the links below.

Cross section of flower

Dissection of flower shown in cross section

Seed head

Seed head showing spines

Leaf structure

Leaf structure illustrating veins and ribs


Detail of petals