Garden master Kristina Wikström measuring the giant waterlily leaf. Photo: Birgitta Eklöf.
Gardener Kristina Wikström measuring the giant waterlily leaf. Photo: Birgitta Eklöf.
 

“It’s the biggest leaf I’ve seen here,” says Gunvor Larsson, who has been the botanist in charge of Victoria House for nearly 20 years.

The big leaf belongs to a hybrid of two Victoria species, called “Longwood.” The biggest leaf ever in the garden is said to be 2.5 meters, but there’s no picture of it.

The water lily leaves emerge from the surface of the water rolled in on themselves. They look like a thorny bundle. After a while, the leaf absorbs water and starts to grow. It looks a little crinkly before it reaches its full potential, and it takes a few days before the leaf expands to its final size.

“The small leaves are so cute! They look like a little hedgehog that’s all curled up,” says Kristina Wikström.

Giant water lily leaf before reaching full size. Photo: Gunvor Larsson
Giant water lily leaf before reaching full size. Photo: Gunvor Larsson
 

Opening hours Victoria House:

1 May to 30 September, open daily 11-17
Thursdays in June, July and August open from 11-20

Victoria House is closed on Midsummer's Eve and Midsummer's Day.