Victoria House

The Victoria House is home to the giants: Amorphophallus gigas, which can grow more than 3.5 meters high, and Amorphophallus titanum, which has the largest inflorescence in the world. The giant water lily Victoria cruziana also rightly bears its name because of its enormous leaves, as does Aristolochia grandiflora, which has huge flowers.

Titan arum

Inflorescence of the titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) © W. Lobin / Universität Bonn

Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) is the largest flower in the plant kingdom. It is more common in botanic gardens today, but it is very rare in its native Sumatra. It was discovered there in 1878 by Odoardo Beccari, a botanist from Florence.

Queen Victoria's water lily 

Giant water lily Victoria (Victoria cruziana) © W. Lobin / Universität Bonn

Queen Victoria's water lily  (Victoria cruziana) blooms white in the night. During the day it closes and blooms dark pink in the second night. The giant leaves are perfect lightweight constructions and can carry up to 80 kg of weight. In the 19th century they were the model for technical lightweight constructions (e.g. Crystal Palace in London).

Pelican flower

Pelican flower (Aristolochia grandiflora) © W. Lobin / Universität Bonn

The flowers of the pelican flower (Aristolochia grandiflora) are up to 40 cm wide and up to a meter long with an elongated tip. With dull colors and strong scent of carrion, it attracts blowflies, which are trapped inside the flower for a while. They later come free loaded with pollen, ready to pollinate other flowers.

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