Lily at Large

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The colour of the lily changes however when it is pollinated to a pinky purple. When the lily is still white in colour and needs to be pollinated it gives off a butterscotch and pineapple scent that attracts the beetles that pollinate the flower; another way the flower attracts beetles is its power to heat up the core of the flower.

The flower is approximately the size of a soccer ball and only lives for three days. The most interesting thing about this flower is the large leaves that it creates. The leaves can grow up to 46 centimeters in size and can hold up to kilograms, the leaves are flat before growing rims at the edge of the leaf. The leaves are strong and stiff thanks to the strong bottom of the leaves.

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The bottoms are covered with spines to help support the ribs. The bottom of the leaf is maroon in colour. The Giant Water Lily does not grow year round in areas where it is not a native species, such as Great Britain; it only grows and reproduces in the summertime when the climate is warm. However, in its native Brazil and in the Amazon it grows all year long, due to the optimum conditions.


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The Giant Water Lily grows in the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin, as well as bayous and specific lakes in Brazil. This species is native to Brazil. The Giant Water Lily adapts to the environment by growing thorns on the bottom of the leaves to protect itself from fishes and other predator that might want to eat it. Another adaptation is the rim around the edges of the leaves. These rims help protect the leaf from birds and insects that might want to eat the leaves the rim is a barrier between the insects and the leaf.

The third adaptation of this Giant Water Lily is that the flower only lives for three days, it traps the beetles that come to pollinate the flower inside its core and then releases all its pollen on these beetles.

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This enlarges the percentage of pollen that gets transported to other flowers for pollination. The Giant Water Lily originates from warm climates of Brazil. There are many beetles living in these warmer climates with the lilies. These beetles pollinate Victoria amazonica , which results in a symbiotic relationship.

The way that the pollination works is that the beetle enters the flower and is captured overnight by the flower the beetles are attracted to the fragrance that the lily gives off. The following day the flower that was once white is now a pinky purple, this is a sign that the flower was pollinated.

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The beetle is then released from the flower, the beetle emerges from the flower covered in the lily's pollen, and then flies away in the hopes of finding another white lily to pollinate. The flower is then drawn into the water where the seeds develop. This flower does not reproduce asexually; it grows only from seeds.

There are two sides to the Giant Water Lily's effect on the ecosystem. This means that no sunlight can reach the rest of the water. Therefore no algae can grow, and with no food source, animals that feed on algae cannot exist.


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  6. On the other hand, Giant Water Lilies are very helpful to some species, for example the Lily Trotter. The Lily Trotters walk on the leaves and obtain their food source insects from the water lily. It is not mentioned anywhere that the Victoria amazonica is an endangered species. Therefore it is most likely that it is a common species. With a length of almost 40 centimetres, the specimen is not only extremely huge, but also shows almost all the typical characteristics of monocotyledonous plants, including parallel-veined, narrow leaves with a leaf sheath, a fibrous root system and triple flowers.

    However, it was not trivial to examine the fossilised object, as it consisted of iron oxides associated with the stone. Nikolay Kardjilov, who is an expert in 3D analysis with X-rays and neutrons.

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    At the HZB he also built up a 3D computed x-ray tomography and refined the data analysis in such a way that hardly any disturbing artefacts arise during the investigation of large, flat objects. This made it possible to analyse the details of the inflorescence hidden in the stone. A colour coding in the CT scan makes these details visible: the main axis is marked in turquoise, the supporting leaves in dark green, the pistils in light green and the remains of the actual petals can still be seen in orange.

    Many early dicotyledonous flowering plants have already been described from the same sediments of the former freshwater lake in Crato. These include water lilies, aron rods, drought-resistant magnolias and relatives of pepper and laurel. In contrast to other flowering plants of the same age from the USA, Portugal, China and Argentina, the flowering plants of the Crato-Flora are unusually diverse. This could be due to the fact that Lake Crato was in the lower latitudes, but all other fossils of early flowering plants come from the middle latitudes.

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