Giant Amazon Lilies

May 20, 2003


Provided and copyright by: Peter Irvine
Summary authors & editor: Peter Irvine

Giant water lilies (Victoria amazonica), the largest of nearly 70 species of lilies in the world, are native to the Amazonia region of Brazil. The above photo was taken on a quiet tributary of the Rio Solimões (upper Amazon river) near Manaus, Brazil. These lilies pictured are roughly 5 feet (1.5 meters) in diameter and firm enough to withstand strong river currents. Each giant water lily has huge white flowers, which open for only two nights during the year and are pollinated by brown beetles. Lilies are among the thousands upon thousands of plant and animal species that one can see while canoeing the back-channels, marshes and tributaries of the Amazon.

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