From Giant to Prickly – tropical water lilies at The Living Rainforest
The Living Rainforest, which has won fame in recent years for its Giant Amazon water lily, suffered a setback this summer when its batch of seeds for Victoria ‘Longwood Hybrid’ unexpectedly failed to flourish.
Instead, The Living Rainforest, which is funded by the ReDiscover project, is growing the rare Euryale ferox from East Asia, also known as the Prickly water lily, with flowers that bloom in lavender, pink, purple and red.
Giant Amazon water lilies can usually only be found in a handful of venues in the UK, including The Living Rainforest, after the rare seeds are brought from the US each year. Amazingly, almost all have been the victims of the same lack of success this summer.
“Giant water lily leaves can grow to as big as 2.6 metres across and 4.9 square metres and in the past we’ve had record-breaking specimens. We’re disappointed not to have a Giant lily this year, but other plant houses in the UK are in a similar situation,” said Myles Challis, chief horticulturalist at The Living Rainforest. “We’ve all been affected by the same poor batch, so we’ve decided to concentrate instead on our Prickly lilies, which have unique submerged flowers.”
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