15 Dec Giant Water Lily
Yes, you heard the truth: a small person can float on a leaf. There is a water lily that grows to large proportions and hails from Brazil. It can grow over 8 feet across and the leaves can hold up to 50 pounds.
Answers.com says “Any of the freshwater plants in eight genera that make up the family Nymphaeaceae, native to temperate and tropical regions. All are perennial except those in the genus Euryale. Most have rounded, floating, waxy-coated leaves growing atop long stalks that contain many air spaces. Thick, fleshy, creeping underwater stems are buried in the mud. In some species the leaves are also submerged. Showy, solitary, cuplike flowers with numerous spirally arranged petals are borne at or above the water surface on the long stalks. The genus Nymphaea includes the water lilies proper (or water nymphs). The common North American white water lily, pond lily, or toad lily is N. odorata.”
There is also a Victoria Water Lily. It appeared in South America and thorns underneath are apparently sharp enough to puncture rubber. The leaves can grow up to ten inches a day! Whoa! It also changes from female to male overnight.
Giant Water Lilly’s are also found in the Amazon so if you ever take a jungle trip, I would say that is a definite must-see! Then we can all long to be fifty pounds or under to try them out.
Hmmm-some plant-creative person needs to figure out how to grow these in the USA!