The Dallas Arboretum’s Lay Family Garden is home to the Victoria Water Lily (Victoria cruziana), which is a must-see before September’s end due to its short lifespan and its acclaim as one of the largest water lilies in the world. Native to Paraguay and Argentina, this species of water lily, cruziana, is rarely grown in this region. This tropical water lily is only able to live until mid-September, because when the weather begins to cool, the water lily will begin to decline. This species does not come back a second year, because it is an annual and only lives for one summer.
Dave Forehand, vice president of gardens, said, “The Victoria Water Lily is such a rarity in this area because it is a high maintenance plant that is also hard to grow. We are glad to have taken on the challenge, because this plant has proven to be a beautiful addition to the Lay Family Garden’s waterfalls and grotto.”
Victoria Water Lilies can have leaves reaching up to eight feet in diameter, the record being ten feet. The Arboretum’s water lily is an estimated three feet in diameter at this time and is growing each day. This plant has a beautiful series of blooms that only open for two nights each. After it flowers, it forms a seed pod that then sinks to the bottom of the pond.
These rare water lilies can only be grown from seed and live for one summer. The seeds must be started in a warm environment in late winter for plants to be big enough to move to a display pond.
Forehand added, “We hope guests will come and take a photo of our beautiful and unique Victoria Water Lily. Guests shouldn’t miss this short-lived but special plant! Right now is the perfect time as it is still August Dollar Days.”
August Dollar Days, presented by Time Warner Cable, runs until the end of August, offering Arboretum guests $1 general garden admission and $2 Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden admission. There is also select $1 and $2 food items throughout the gardens. August Dollar Day tickets are available for purchase only at the gate. Parking is available for a discounted $8 if purchased online in advance.
Along with the rare Victoria Water Lily, the newly renovated Lay Family Garden provides plenty of shade and water features to keep cool, as guests are often found sitting behind the 12-foot waterfall in the shaded grotto.
To learn more about the unique Victoria Water Lily from Dallas Arboretum’s Dave Forehand, watch this video featuring the garden’s exciting plant: https://youtu.be/z40pOXDhXc4