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Самая большая кувшинка в мире.

В Южной Америке растёт самая большая кувшинка на планете – Виктория Регия.

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Виктория – травянистое растения из семейства Кувшинковые

Впервые увидел и описал удивительное растение естествоиспытатель из Германии Эдуард Фридрих Пёппиг во время своего путешествия по Южной Америке.

Сплавляясь на плоту по реке Тефе в сопровождении нескольких индейцев, Пёппиг нашёл Викторию и впоследствии описал её. Местные жители называют нимфею «муруру». К сожалению, в научном мире на открытие Пёппига не обратили внимания.

Чтобы защититься от желающих поживиться ею, кувшинка защитила нижнюю поверхность листьев острыми шипами. Сверху листья зелёные и гладкие, как у нашей кувшинки. Стебель также покрыт шипами.


Снизу лист имеет интересное строение. Он разделён на ячейки выступающими рёбрами жёсткости. Поры листа Виктории, как и у всех кувшинок, наполнены воздухом, поэтому отлично держатся на воде.

Размер её листьев поражает, они достигают диаметра 1–2 м. Оказывается, лист способен выдерживать вес в 50 кг, уложенный точно в центр плавучего «плота». Его края загнуты вверх, а для слива воды существует подобие вертикальных прорезей на этих загнутых «бортиках» и множество отверстий в самом листе.

Диаметр испускающих приятный тонкий аромат махровых цветков – 30-45 см. Цвет меняется по мере его старения. Сначала он белоснежный, потом изменяет окраску, демонстрируя розовые и фиолетовые оттенки. К моменту увядания цвет лепестков самый интенсивный – малиновый и фиолетовый.

Вскоре вместо цветов Виктория формирует плоды внушительных размеров, примерно вдвое меньше, чем голова взрослого человек

Виктория Регия (Victoria Regia) – самый редкий вид гигантской кувшинки. Встречается на речках Ориноко, Парана и в речках Гайаны, протекающих через северо-восточные регионы Южной Америки.

Более распространена в естественной среде обитания Виктория амазонская (Victoria amazonica). Она предпочитает тепло заводей Амазонки и притоков к ней, расположенных в Бразилии и Боливии.

Виктория Амазонская с красной нижней частью листа у местных жителей называется «Водяной маис». Из семян они получают муку, заменяющую маисовую (кукурузную). Она очень полезна и питательна, не хуже пшеничной. Используется мука по назначению – из неё пекут хлеб и сдобу. Семена Виктории очень крупные, примерно с горошину, чёрного цвета.

В естественных условиях у Виктории развивается 12 листьев. Растут они поразительными темпами. Если днём листик только начал раскрываться, то за ночь достигнет своего обычного размера в 2 м.

Запах, источаемый цветками, напоминает аромат ананаса. Лепестков у цветка 50–60! В течение сезона кувшинка выпускает 25–30 соцветий. Невероятно, но температура внутри соцветия аж на 11 ºС выше, чем воздух и на 6 ºС выше, чем вода. Цветки нагреваются за счёт быстрого роста и потребления кислорода. Всю ночь благоухает цветок, а утром перестаёт, складывает лепестки и опускается вглубь во

Под открытым небом растение вырастить в нашем климате невозможно. В неволе требуется обеспечить ей исключительно стабильные условия: температуру воды в +32 ºС. Даже незначительные перепады температуры на 2 градуса в ту или иную сторону губят прекрасную привереду.

В 1849 году в английских оранжереях удалось создать кувшинке благоприятные условия для вегетации и цветения. В 1854 г. первая Виктория зацвела в Петербурге в специально отстроенной для неё оранжерее в бассейне диаметром 7,6 м. В искусственных условиях большую часть суток соцветие находится под водой. Около 19 часов вечера цветок всплывает, быстро открывает лепестки, затем вновь уходит вглубь вод.

В природе цветение Виктории наблюдается в декабре и январе. В родном климате в засушливый период, когда мелеют заводи, верхняя часть растения засыхает, но живыми остаются толстые корневища, надёжно скрытые илистой почвой. Когда вода возвращается, нимфея оживает. Цветение происходит исключительно ночью. И лишь 2 ночи подряд можно им любоваться, на третью ночь лепестки опадают.

Интересно! Невероятная «конструкция» листа была использована архитектором Д. Пакстоном при проектировании Хрустального дворца в Лондоне. Его балки и опоры расположены так же, как прожилки в листе амазонской красавицы.

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