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Kew Gardens: Waterlily House

September 17, 2012

Nothing to show for Harvest Monday this week, so on with the Kew pictures. The Waterlily House is the smallest of them, and not many of my pictures are worth posting – perfect for a late-night post before I fall asleep! 😉

It’s really tiny compared to the others. The nasturtiums were huge, though. Makes me realize how pathetic mine are looking.

Victoria cruziana and Nymphaea ‘Foxfire’ – I don’t think I’ve seen a waterlily with striped leaves before.

According to a sign, they put black food dye in the water to limit algae growth (it means there’s less light available to the algae, I suppose), and it also makes a nice dark background for the leaves and flowers. And I guess the roof’s reflection wouldn’t be visible so clearly on lighter-coloured water.

Libra taking pictures. She’s a much better photographer than me (and also has the better camera), but I haven’t seen her pictures yet.


Some sort of morning glory, I think, growing all along the railing. I would have stolen some seeds, I’m shameless like that, but there weren’t any ripe ones.

One Victoria leaf had been cut off and flipped over so we could admire the underside, too.

Since I’ve come home, I’m constantly googling for pictures of people standing on Victoria leaves to show friends and family that it’s possible. I wonder what it’d feel like to sit/stand on one…

After this trip, I think Libra now understands my fascination with passionflowers. I want to have them all!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom permalink
    September 19, 2012 03:35

    When i worked at Longwood I worked in their waterlily pools. The victorias were quite horrifying to work with. We never got to stand on one, but it does require a wooden board to distribute the weight or else you’ll crash right through

    • September 19, 2012 10:03

      Horrifying how?

      I knew about the board. 🙂

      • Tom permalink
        September 20, 2012 03:06

        Horrifying because of the masses of thorns. When the water is back you can’t really see what you’re doing so it’s not hard to walk into a spiny flower bud and rip your waders. Also they require constant feeding which means burying pellets into the root ball…right next to the giant spiny crown that you can’t see in the black water. They’re quite painful

      • September 21, 2012 19:21

        OK, that really doesn’t sound like fun!

  2. Tom permalink
    September 19, 2012 03:37

    Oh yeah and look up Ipomea platense, i think that’s what you saw

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