The Big Lily - Victoria - Chiang Rai Attractions

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. DavidFL

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    #1 DavidFL, Dec 23, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
    Victoria amazonica is the world’s largest water lily and among the largest in the Nymphaeaceae family.
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    The first discovery was in 1801 in Bolivia and it is indigenous to the Amazon River basin’s shallow waters. This species is the national flower of the Republic of Guyana and appears on the country’s coat of arms. The flower is famous for its enormous circular leaves. The common names for the water lily include Amazon water-lily, Victoria-lily, or Giant water lily.

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    The Giant water lily has large leaves that have a diameter of up to 10 feet, which float on water, and a submerged stalk that is up to 26 feet long. The leaves start as pointy heads that expand so fast up to 5 square feet each day. Under the surface, the leaves are red and have sharp spines that defend the plant from herbivorous fish.

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    The species’ flowers are short-lived and last about 48 hours, appearing as white when it opens, initially as female. The sweet scent they emit attracts beetles which carry pollen from other plants.

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    After the transfer of the pollen, the flower shuts as fertilization takes place to trap the beetles inside. When the flower opens the next evening, after transforming to mature male during the day, the beetles fly to a different white flower. After this process, the flower closes up descending below the water surface.

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    It is classified under the genus of Victoria and the family of Nymphaeaceae, the species found its first description published in October 1837 by John Lindley. Lindley gave the plant the botanical name of Victoria Regia, with the genus named after Queen Victoria. Earlier in 1832, Eduard Poeppig accounted for the species as Euryale amazonica describing a similarity to Euryale ferox. James De Carle Sowerby acknowledged the description by Poeppig in 1850 and used the term amazonica. Lindley, however, rejected this new name. In the 20th century, the Victoria amazonica name became widespread.

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    Victoria amazonica is an ornamental plant and highly prized. The seeds are also used as food when roasted. The design of Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace in 1851 came from the leaves of the plant.

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    The giant water lily habitat is highly specialized, although the plant’s status remains unthreatened. Climate change in the Amazon basin and destruction of the rainforest may pose a threat to the Amazon water-lily.

    In Chiang Rai you can see the giant Victoria Lily on R4050, just 1.5 kms from R1209.

    If you like your chances you can test out standing on a lily too!
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    I understood the claimed maximum weight load was 80kgs, so lung didn't get a chance to make a fool of himself.

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    Google Maps Location: Google Maps

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    If you're into selfies, this is a cool place to go.
    Admission is 20 baht and you get one free bottle of water.

     
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