Yogi Vemana University flaunting a slice of Guyana’s pride

In July 2021,  hundreds of seedlings of Victoria amazonica were planted and the university's Botanical Garden is now willing to distribute the plants to others.

Published: 13th January 2022 05:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2022 05:12 AM   |  A+A-

Victoria amazonica, Yogi Vemana univeristy botanical garden

Coracle-like pads with upturned rims anchored to the pond’s bottom (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

KADAPA: The giant water lily thriving in a specially constructed pond has been attracting visitors from all over the country to the Yogi Vemana University’s Botanical Garden here. The university said it constructed a befitting tank—the largest artificial one in India-—for Victoria amazonica, the largest member of the water lily family. 

The lily, with pads (leaves) growing up to eight feet across, bears large white to pink blooms having a strong pineapple-like fragrance in its two-day lifecycle. Victoria amazonica is the national flower of Guyana, on the northern mainland of South America.

On day one, the flowers are white, and by nightfall, the petals close, trapping the beetles feasting on the nectar. The flowers sport a reddish-pink colour on day two, indicating that they have been pollinated. 
By the second evening, the beetles push through the stamens and fly off in search of fresh flowers and cross-pollinate them.  

The coracle-like pads with upturned rims are anchored to the pond’s bottom with submerged stalks and can hold adults, as demonstrated when a student, weighing  40 kilograms, comfortable sat on it 

The Victoria amazonica was introduced to Yogi Vemana’s Botanical Garden by the then Vice-Chancellor Prof Attipalli Ramachandra Reddy on July 16, 2019. The plant was collected from Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanic Garden at Shibpur in Howrah, West Bengal.

In July 2021,  hundreds of seedlings were planted and the university’s Botanical Garden is now willing to distribute the plants to others.  The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change and Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata. 

The plant is native to the Amazon River Basin and the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland area located mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but extending into Mato Grosso and portions of Bolivia and Paraguay.


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