Experts at Kew Gardens in London announced yesterday that they had discovered a new species of giant water lily, after it had been believed to be another species since the mid-19th century.
Specimens of this new type of lily remained undiscovered for 177 years in Kew Gardens and 34 years in a national park in Bolivia.
These lilies were thought to belong to the genus “Victoria amazonica”, one of two known giant water lilies, the genus of which was named after Queen Victoria in 1852.
But its true species was discovered after experts in Kew worked with a team from Bolivia to prove it was a third species.
Among the latest species of giant water lily is “Victoria boliviana,” whose leaves grow up to three meters in the wild and are the largest in the world, according to a research paper published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Sciences. .
For his part, researcher Carlos Magdalena, who specializes in saving plant species on the brink of extinction, described the water lily as “one of the botanical wonders of the world.” Giant water lilies bloom at night, turning from white to pink.
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