These aquatic plants — their scientific name is Victoria cruziana but locals call them ‘alligator lilies’ — sprawling enough that they can provide a hiding place for a small alligator. — AFP picASUNCION, Jan 9 — An off-the-beaten-path corner of Paraguay has become a tourist attraction this month as visitors flock to see a rare delight floating on a hidden lagoon: Giant round water lilies spanning over 1.5m.
These aquatic plants — their scientific name is Victoria cruziana but locals call them “alligator lilies” — sprawling enough that they can provide a hiding place for a small alligator.
Over in Piquete Cue, about 25km north of Asuncion, fans of botany, water lilies and the unusual pay about US$5 (RM20) for one memorable boat ride to the bright yellowish green star of the really singular show.
Amazed tourists take pictures of each other with the other-worldly background, and yes, the inevitable selfie with megalilies that unlike many are circular and rather recall a massive flattened pea.
“This is something that you just don’t see every day. Or even every year. You do see lily pads all the time but not so many. And not so enormous! Some are two-metres wide,” said Agustin Gomez.
The “Yacare Irumpe” are usually found in calm waters, and tend to capture tourists’ attention both because of their size and exceptional shape.