This water lily is named after Queen Victoria and is native to the Amazon and surrounding areas in South America. In 1836, the flower was first discovered by E.F. Poeppig, a German explorer. He named the lily Euryale Amazonica. During the same year, another explorer, Richard Schomburgk described the same flower in British Guiana. He named it Victoria Regia, after the Queen of England. The official name was accepted as Victoria Amazonica, however it is still known to the locals as the Victoria Regia.
The are several different species of large water lilies named Victoria. The Amazonica is perhaps the largest. Its leaves can grow to more than 8 feet across, and are green or yellowish green in colour. The outer side of the rim is dark pink and can grow to approximately 5 inches in length. The flower of the Amazonica blooms for about two but can nevertheless measure up to 10 inches across when fully opened. This beautiful flower emits a powerful smell that is reminiscent of its tropical origins and is a combination of bananas and ripe pineapple. The seeds are quite nutritious and are used as food by the natives of the Amazon.