Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Discovery of Susan’s largest aquatic plant

The largest water lily (Susan) plant found in remote Bolivian wetlands has been discovered with the widest address, as well as a new species (Victoria Boliviana).

Spread like a lotus, it is about 3.2 meters wide and its flower is bigger than a human hand. Natalia Zolemska, a scientist at Kew Garden in the UK, said that if found, it would weigh almost like a newborn baby. Theoretically, one of its addresses can support 80 kg of human weight. Although it has not been tested yet.

In 2016, some water lily seeds were shipped to the UK and planted in the Q Garden. They were grown by Carlos Magdalena, a botanist. But he soon realized that the plants he was growing were different. In 2019 he went to Bolivia where he studied water lilies in the natural environment of the forest.

The plant grows abundantly in Bolivia’s northeastern rivers, ponds, and wetlands, and its unusual size is considered a mystery by experts. It turns out that they compete with other plants and thrive in this endeavor.

According to science, the biodiversity of tropical regions is very high. As soon as it rains, the water lilies open and grow very fast in the sun.

Experts have also identified the entire genome of Victoria Boliviana and found about four billion base pairs. Genetic research shows that Victoria Boliviana was separated from another species, Victoria amazonica, some 5 million years ago. However, the sad news is that the survival of this plant is in grave danger.

Experts say it is important to save this rare plant.

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