World's largest waterlily awarded Guinness World Record
The world's largest giant waterlily, grown at Kew Gardens, has been officially recognised by Guinness World Records
In an event hosted at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, an official from Guinness World Records presented Mr Juan Carlos Crespo Montalvo, the Bolivian Charge d'Affaires, with a Guinness World Records title for the world's largest giant waterlily.
Victoria boliviana awarded Guinness World Records titles for world's largest giant waterlily
Victoria boliviana was named new to science in July 2022 and has been described as one of the 'botanical wonders' of the world following years of investigation. Native to the Llanos de Moxos wetlands of Bolivia, the plant was named in honour of Kew's Bolivian partners and its South American home country.
The giant waterlily has now been awarded three Guinness World Records Titles:
Largest species of waterlily
In cultivation, Victoria boliviana has floating pads that grow in excess of 2.8m in diameter. Its flowers can span up to 36cm wide.
Largest waterlily leaf
The largest waterlily pad on record is a specimen of Victoria boliviana that spanned 3.2m at its maximum diameter when measured in February 2012 at La Rinconada ecological park in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
Largest undivided leaf
The largest undivided, simple leaf on record was also awarded to Victoria boliviana for the pad measured in February 2012.
Efforts to bring this new species to light were headed up by Kew's scientific and botanical research horticulturist Carlos Magdalena, freelance botanical artist Lucy Smith, and biodiversity genomics researcher Natalia Przelomska in collaboration with partners at the National Herbarium of Bolivia, Santa Cruz de La Sierra Botanic Garden and La Rinconada Gardens.
Carlos Magdalena suspected the waterlily was a new species as early as 2006 and grew it at Kew Gardens with seed donated from Bolivia. He commented "it's fantastic to see Victoria boliviana recognised by Guinness World Record titles. I'm delighted to have played a part in its discovery and celebrate not only a new species, but the global collaboration between Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and its partners".
Molly is the Gardens Illustrated's editorial and digital assistant. She has a roof garden and has her RHS level 2.
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