Victoria is the genus of giant water lilies in the family Nymphaeaceae native to South America. The plants have very large leaves that float on the water's surface with the rhizomes rooted in the mud. The flowers open up white and turn pink on the second and last night. The genus is named after Queen Victoria of England. Despite their size, botanical gardens in temperate climates usually cultivate them as annuals.
Victoria amazonica (syn. V. regia) is native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin. It is the largest of all water lilies and has a leaf that is up to 3 m in diameter on a submerged stalk 7–8 m in length. The load-bearing capacity of a leaf is about 40-45 kilos.
Victoria cruziana is native to the Parana-Paraguay basin and is much more tolerant of cooler water temperatures than V. amazonica. Pictures by Martin Bohnet are taken at Wilhelma botanical garden, Stuttgart.