Victoria amazonica, is a species of flowering plant and the largest of the Nymphaeaceae family of water lilies. It is also known as “Queen of the water lillies”. It is the National flower of Guyana. The species has very large leaves, up to 3 m in diameter, that float on the water’s surface on a submerged stalk, 8 m in length. The most interesting thing is, Victoria amazonica leaves are so strong that they can hold up to nearly 136 kilograms weight of a human.
Victoria amazonica is native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin, such as oxbow lakes and bayous. It is depicted in the Guyanese coat of arms. The flowers are white the first night they are open and become pink the second night. The genus name was given in honor of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.The species was once called Victoria regia after Queen Victoria, but the name was superseded.
Another species, Victoria cruziana, in the Parana Paraguay basin, is only slightly smaller, with the underside of the leaves purple rather than the red of V. amazonica, and covered with a peachlike fuzz lacking in V. amazonica. V. cruziana opens its flowers at dusk.