The Greatest Water Lily of All

Today was a big day. We flew to Chiang Mai, Thailand from Bangkok and were finally able to see the mega-sized water lilies, Victoria amazonica. These are the nearly mythical water lilies that were often depicted in old illustrations carrying the weight of a small child.

I have long been fascinated by their massive, prickly pads and had them on my list of absolute must-see plants while in Thailand. I was even lucky enough to see one with a flower bud.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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8 thoughts on “The Greatest Water Lily of All

  1. I was SOOOO hoping you woulld get a chance to see these in person and tell us about it! It is a DREAM of mine to actually see one of these someday :( I have a friend that adopted her son from Thailand and was able to see these and has pics of small children floating on them. THANK YOU so very very much for sharing!

  2. That’s so funny… I was just looking at pictures on Facebook from a friend who went to Mauritius and had pictures of them. I was thinking to myself I might get to see them when I go to Asia later in the year and here they are again! I’ll put them on the list of things to ask about while going along.

  3. I am a huge fan of these mystical plants…. I grow miniatures in my garden and cannot bear the beauty of them sometimes… Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Have you seen the late 19th century photos of women standing/dancing upon them? I think they had them at the Missouri Botanical Garden…and I think they fudged by building submerged platforms below them. But they’re beautiful and amazing nonetheless!

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