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Santa Cruz Water Lily Overview
Victoria cruziana is also known as the Santa Cruz Water Lily, it produces showy foliage, the leaves are termed lily pads and these lie flat on the water surface. It is an aquatic perennial in its natural habit of the Amazon but often grown as an annual under glass in the UK. The specimens found in botanic gardens are typically grown from seed each spring, meaning all the huge floating foliage is produced in a matter of months! The flowers are white upon opening, they are pollinated by dynastid beetles in the wild, which are attracted to the scent and heat generated by the flower. A beetle enters the flower to feed, where it is promptly trapped by the flower, which closes and sinks below the water again. The flower then developed from white to a pink colouration, rises and opens again the following evening to release the beetle, which is now coated in pollen.