Note: The Victoria amazonica's flowering season is typically from September to April
A true night owl, the Victoria amazonica waterlily waits until after dark to flower and uses all of its allure to attract the scarab beetles it requires for pollination.
The flower opens its white petals and releases a scent irresistible to the beetles before closing again, trapping them inside. The following evening, after spending a day with the beetles inside, the flower’s petals turn a purple colour signalling that pollination has taken place. The plant reopens, releasing the beetles to move onto their next flower, and then closes for the second time before sinking underwater where its seeds develop.
Growing up to 40 centimetres in diameter and with the ability to hold up to 136 kilograms the other striking feature of this plant is its giant leaves. Green on top and maroon on the bottom, the leaves have a flat surface with rims growing up around the edges.
The Botanic Gardens of South Australia houses this incredible plant in the specially-designed Amazon Waterlilly Pavilion, where you can learn more about its intriguing behaviour.