Oil on canvas
50cm x 40cm, 20”x16”
Victoria amazonica is the largest species of water lily in the world. Its lily pads can grow up to 3 metres (9.8 feet) in diameter and support the weight of a small human.
Officially ‘discovered’ by the western world in 1837, the inaugural year of Queen Victoria’s reign, these massive beauties captured the imagination of botanists, plant hunters, the British public and even the Queen herself, who was charmed to have her moniker lend the lily its first scientific name, Victoria regia.
After the death of the monarch in 1901, scientists conceded to change the lily’s scientific name to better reflect its origins- the Amazon River Basin- but the public’s fascination with the unique plant has not diminished.
While I have yet to visit the Amazon, I was fortunate enough to see these giant lilies while visiting the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The undisturbed surface of the water provided a perfect mirror, capturing the delicate lines of the partially submerged petals.