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Victoria cruziana (Santa Cruz waterlily)

Santa Cruz waterlily has strikingly beautiful lily pads up to two metres wide, with prickly undersides and wide, upturned rims.
Victoria cruziana (Santa cruz waterlily) at Kew

Victoria cruziana in Kew's Waterlily House

Species information

Scientific name: 

Victoria cruziana A.D.Orb.

Common name: 

Santa Cruz waterlily, giant waterlily, water-platter

Conservation status: 

Not yet assessed according to IUCN Red List criteria.


Slowly moving, shallow waterways.

Key Uses: 


Known hazards: 

Leaves and other plant parts bear sharp spines, which can be hazardous.


Genus: Victoria

About this species

A distinctive waterlily from South America, Victoria cruziana produces enormous lily pads that lie flat on the water’s surface. It has large, attractive flowers that nestle in-between the expanding lily pads.

The genus Victoria was named in honour of the UK’s Queen Victoria (1819–1901). The specific epithet cruziana was given in honour of Andrés de Santa Cruz (1792–1865), President of Peru and Bolivia, who sponsored an expedition to Bolivia in which the first specimens of this species were collected.

Victoria cruziana is one of two species within the genus Victoria, the other being Victoria amazonica. These giant waterlilies attracted great attention in the UK when they were first cultivated at Kew during the reign of Queen Victoria.


Victoria argentina Burmeist.


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