The Victoria Amazonica water lily is a native of the Amazon River Basin in Brazil. It has been a part of the Kenilworth Aquatic Garden collection for years in the Anacostia River Basin. Sometimes started from seed, this tropical, night blooming water lily has flowers a foot across and unusual leaves often five feet across by mid-August. Come in the morning to see the flower at its best as it turns from white to pink to red over two days before dropping below the water to form seeds. It is not always possible to get this plant to bloom, so call the park in late July to ensure the flowers are growing in the ponds.
To grow these, order plants and protect them from water temperatures below 75 degrees F until they recover from shipping. They will need to be planted in large pots, about three feet square and a couple of feet deep. When planting, add fertilizer to the soil. Top with medium sand and put in your pond when the temperature of the water stays above 78 degrees at night. Give them lots of room as each plant can get 15 feet across.