Scientists Discover New Species of Giant Water Lily

A team of world experts in Science, Horticulture, and Botanical Art have discovered new species of giant water lily held for 177 years in the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG), Kew, London. 

According to the scientists, previous authorities have mistaken the Victoria boliviana for the famous giant water lily, Victoria Amazonica, the waterlily named after Queen Victoria in 1837.  

The Victoria boliviana is the first discovery of a new giant water lily in over a century, which now holds the record for the largest in the world, with leaves growing more than 10 feet wide. 

The Kew Scientists have analyzed the plants’ DNA to show that V. boliviana was genetically different from the other two species. 

The plant’s name Victoria boliviana is from Bolivia – home of the waterlilies, and in honor of the Bolivian research partners. 

However, RBG Kew Scientist Dr. Alex Monro said there is still so much to learn about the three water lily species. 

“We still don’t know how many populations there are and how much they vary in size. We don’t really understand pollination biology very well. We don’t know a lot about the dispersal of the species – how it transmits itself from one place to another,” Monro said

“So, there are still many unknowns. And I think because they’re so huge – so obvious – people haven’t really thought to study them in that much detail,” Monro added. 


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