Brazil – Pantanal, Giant Water Lily Victoria Amazonica


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These giant water lilies are anchored by stalks up to 26 feet long, and the largest leaves are 10 feet in diameter.  At the surface, the spine studded leaf bud expands, pushing aside its neighbors.  One plant can produce up to 50 leaves in a season.  To avoid self-pollination, all the flowers from one plant open at the same time, releasing a fruity smell.  The smell and color attract a species of scarab beetle which acts as a pollinator.  At nightfall, the flower closes, trapping the beetle inside until the next evening.  When the beetle is released, it is covered in pollen.  By then, the flowers have turned pink, which signals they have been pollinated and are no longer attractive to the beetle.