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Victoria: Reproduction and growth

The giant water lilies of the genus Victoria are found in lowland equatorial regions of South America. With their huge, floating leaves they conquer the open water surfaces, where they can bask in full sunlight. Though naturally perennials, they’re cultivated as annuals here in the Botanic Garden. To survive the winter, these tropical plants would need extra light and water temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. This would require far too much energy here, so in the winter the Victoria House is used as cold house for the display of plants from mediterranean climates.

The seeds of the giant water lilies are sown in February, planted in pots in a small, heated pond. They grow quickly, are pricked and transplanted, and finally set in their final location in mid-April. They begin to bloom in July. By the end of the month, a single leave of Victoria amazonica may measure approximately 2 meters in diameter. These lilies contain thick, air-filled leaf veins that allow them to float. Netlike reinforcing ribs make them strong enough to bear the weight of a small child without sinking.

Audio file download
Victoria: Reproduction and growth (MP3, 584 KB)

Audio production and copyright: Soundgarden Audioguidance GmbH
Text: Günter Gerlach, Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg

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