water lily

The water lily flower lives for only 48 hours.

Victoria amazonica is an angiosperm of the Nymphaeaceae family. Also known by the popular names “victoria-regia” and “jaçanã”, this plant is found in Brazil, Bolivia and Guyana and has a perennial life cycle. In our country, it is typical of the northern region, in the Amazon River basin.

It is an exclusively aquatic plant. It has floating, circular leaves that can reach 2.5 meters in diameter when mature. These have drainage channels and two side slits, directing rainwater to the lake.

In addition to its ribs, it has edges of approximately 10 cm at its ends and also air compartments in its lower region. These two structures allow that, even in contact with water, the leaf does not sink nor does it reflux.

It attaches itself, through a long, flexible petiole, to the rhizome. This energy reservoir of the plant is rich in starch, iron and mineral salts, and can be used as food. The petiole also has several spines in its extension, providing greater resistance to herbivory.

This angiosperm has flowers that, in their first moments, are white in color, with greenish edges. They live for only 48 hours, and on the second day they are ready for pollination and acquire a pink color. The fruit ripens at around six weeks and the seeds are buoyant. These, in the ebb season, settle in the soil, germinating a new plant.

The water lily can also be multiplied by dividing the rhizome.

A curiosity about the water lily leaf is that, when young, it has the shape of a heart. Another refers to its laxative and healing properties, in addition to its ability to color and strengthen the hair. 

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