September 30, 2023

Science Snapshot: Holily Molily

Scientist Carlos Magdalena (left) and Lucy Smith examine the underside of V. boliviana.RBG KewWhen scientists first brought the worlds biggest waterlily species to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London from South America in 1852 and explained it scientifically, they named the genus Victoria in honor of Queen Victoria. At the time, scientists thought that the types that contained the largest waterlilies on Earth was Victoria amazonica. Now, 177 years later, a hereditary analysis has exposed that the size crown in fact belongs to a distinct types that diverged from its close cousin 1 million years back.