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Water lilies seem too big to be true at Bok Tower Gardens

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Over at Bok Tower Gardens, two rare Victoria water lilies (Victoria ‘Longwood Hybrid’) have grown to an unusually large size in the Reflection Pool near the Singing Tower. Each plant has 20 or more lily pads that are five foot in diameter.

The pads are big enough to support the weight of a child. The water lily flowers are 12 inches wide and bloom for only two nights before disappearing under the water. The first night’s bloom is pure white and the second’s bloom is bright pink. The blooms are only open at night or in the morning.

“We have been quite surprised at the size and number of pads from this year’s Victoria water lily planting,” says David Price, president of Bok Tower Gardens. “Many are caught off guard when they first see these plants in our Reflection Pool, often asking our gardeners if the pads are real or if they are plastic. People aren’t used to seeing plants that grow this large and they are surprised when we tell them they are grown from a seed the size of a pea.”

The lilies are grown in a hot tub in the Gardens’ greenhouse facilities until the pond water reaches 70 degrees, at which time they are planted out into 100 gallon pots.

Visitors are encouraged to arrive to the Gardens before 9:30 am to see the blooms. The Victoria lilies will grow until cooler fall temperatures arrive in November. Visit www.boktowergardens.org or call 863-676-1408 for more information.

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