A Rare and Unusual Victoria amazonica,
White the Second Night
by Kit & Ben Knotts - Click images
The brilliantly colored second night flower is one of the
things that attracts us to Victoria amazonica. It can
be fire engine red, deep rose, dark maroon, sometimes all in
the same flower
Imagine our surprise when we went out to breed a particular
V. amazonica flower the second night and found it white!
flower was not pale pink. It was as white as a first night flower
except for deep red streaks on the inner petals. Even the paracarpels
were creamy white, though tipped with pink.
Generally, the warmer the weather, the deeper the color of
second night Victoria flowers. Some late fall and winter
flowers are paler, as well as the occasional flower in the warmer
months. Though this was October, our air temperature was still
80°F (27°C) in the evening and other Victorias
were very colorful.
^ Victoria 'Adventure', V. cruziana,
V. amazonica photographed the same nights the white V.
amazonica opened. ^
The white V. amazonica,
foreground, V. 'Adventure', background. >
V. amazonica plants are typically slow growers relative
to V. cruziana and the hybrids. Many attain their largest
size and begin blooming in September and October. This plant
had its first flowers in September but we didn't see them the
second night. This was because three flowers were bred the morning
between the first and second nights, closed and covered. Two
others reached above the surface and never opened.
Was this an odd flower? Would subsequent flowers continue
to be white? They were, flower after flower. That raises the
question of genetic aberration. It certainly is an interesting
idea but is this good or is it bad? Though the plant is large
and seems strong, might these white flowers be weaker? The two
that didn't open, in very good weather, were certainly atypical
of V. amazonica.
Will seeds resulting from self-pollinating these white flowers
produce plants with white second night flowers? It will be interesting
to see! It will take many people growing the strain to test it.
It is lot 06A13. Our Victoria
Seed Bank is now open for requests but it will be December
at the earliest before selfed seeds from this plant are available
for distribution. If you are interested in growing it, specify
"The White One".