The Huntsville Botanical Garden Reveals the Grand Victoria Lily
May 22, 2012 –After two years in hibernation, The Huntsville Botanical Garden proudly introduces the Victoria Lily (Victoria cruziana), back into the Aquatic Garden. This extremely rare lily is a native of the shallow waters of the Amazon basin and was named after Queen Victoria who reigned over the United Kingdom for more than 60 years. One of the most distinctive features of this lily is the large lily pad leaves that can grow to six feet in diameter and support up to 100 pounds without breaking.
“The Victoria Lily (also called Amazon Lily or Platter Lily) is one of the world’s most delicate and complex species. It is native to a particular region of the Amazon River basin that has extremely warm water temperatures and periodic flooding. The Lily takes months and months of nurturing and special feeding before it will bloom. It is without a doubt one the world’s hardest to produce flowers and one of the Garden’s most special attractions,” said Harvey Cotten, Vice President and Chief Horticulturist for the Garden. According to Cotten, the complexity of the Victoria Lily leaves has inspired incredible engineering structures like the Crystal Palace in England. Once again, nature has proven to be the inspiration for some of most grand engineering feats – something this community can truly relate to.
While the leaves of the Victoria Lily are an engineering marvel, it is the incredible fragrant flowers that steal the show. In late August to early September, after months of growing and producing food, the Victoria Lily’s flowers are ready to open. As with most tropical water lilies the Victoria Lily is a night blooming species with an incredible fragrance. The intense pineapple fragrance is present to lure in certain beetles to insure pollination. Another interesting detail about the flowers is that the first night they will open as a pure white flower and then the second night they will be a deep pink.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to view this beautiful lily at YOUR Huntsville Botanical Garden now through September. Come watch the lily pads grow larger and larger as we anticipate the first night bloom in late summer. Summer Garden hours are Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Standard Admission rates are free for members and for non-members the rates are $12 for adults, $8 for children. For more information on the Victoria Lily or the Huntsville Botanical Garden, visit its web site at www.hsvbg.org or call Jenni Jeffers at 256.830.4447 ext. 290. The Huntsville Botanical Garden is located at 4747 Bob Wallace Avenue in Huntsville.
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Huntsville Botanical Garden
256.830.4447, ext. 290