'Victoria regia' - 'Victoria amazonica'

Water lilies in Tower Grove Park, US, ca. 1900

Victoria amazonica

'Victoria amazonica' is a species of flowering plant, the
largest of the Nymphaeaceae family of water lilies. The species
has very large leaves, up to 3 m in diameter, that float on the water's
surface on a submerged stalk, 7–8 m in length. The species was once
called 'Victoria regia' after Queen Victoria, but the name was
superseded. 'Victoria regia' was once the subject of rivalry
between Victorian gardeners in England...

Annie Paxton standing on a Victoria amazonica leaf in the lily
house at Chatsworth; Paxton's design for the Crystal Palace
took its cue from the organic structure of this plant

'On unbent leaf in fairy guise,
Reflected in the water,
Beloved, admired by hearts and eyes,
Stands Annie, Paxton's daughter...'

The Gigantic Waterlily (Victoria Regia),
'In Flower At Chatsworth'
Illustrated London News, 1849

by Walter Hood Fitch, 1851

The first seeds of the Victoria regia lily had been sent to Kew
from the Amazon in 1836. Although these had grown, they had
not flowered and in 1849 one seedling was given to Paxton to try
out at Chatsworth. He entrusted it to Eduard Ortgies , a young
gardener at Chatsworth and within two months the leaves were
four and a half feet in diameter, and a month later it flowered. It
continued growing and it became necessary to build a much larger
house, the Victoria Regia House. Inspired by the huge leaves of
the waterlily and tested by floating his daughter Annie on one leaf,
he found the structure for his conservatory

Botanical Garden 'Victoria Regia house'

lllustration of Victoria Regina made from specimens
flowering at Syon and at Kew. London
Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865)
& Walter Fitch (1817-1892), 1851

Baby on a water lily (Victoria amazonica), n.d.

1860 Print Victoria Regia - Giant Water Lilly

A woman standing on a leaf of Victoria cruziana, 1902
in the lily pond in front of the Linnaean House of the
Missouri Botanical Garden. A wooden plank and a towel
is placed on the pad to prevent damage to the plant

Victoria Regia or the Great Water Lily of America
(Intermediate Stages of Bloom), 1854 by Mary Cassatt

The interior of the Victoria regia greenhouse at
Adelaide Botanic Gardens showing a young girl
on a leaf of Victoria amazonica, 1910
State Library of South Australia

Giant Water Lily - Victoria regia, 1850s
Purchase it here

Victoria Water Lily (Victoria regia)

Early 1900s

William Allen Sharp:
The Great Water Lily of America, 1854

William Allen Sharp:
The Great Water Lily of America
(View of the Form of the Flower...)