Giant Waterlily Leaf Mounted Print, 40 x 40cm
This striking and unique Print has been illustrated by the botanical artist Lucy T Smith, and features the underside of a Victoria Amazonica leaf. The original life-size artwork of the Giant Waterlily was painted from a specimen collected at Kew Gardens and is currently on display at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art.
Dimensions: 40 x 40cm (including mount)
Illustrating the giant waterlilies of the genus Victoria is Lucy T Smith’s first major independent project in two decades with the purpose of showing the unique features of the night-flowering genus. Around 2016, after over a decade of pen and ink illustrations (and the odd watercolour) for Kew, Lucy needed a project to call her own. After painting the world’s smallest waterlily (Nymphaea thermarum) Lucy became a frequent visitor to Kew’s tropical nursery and glasshouses, where she fell for the giant waterlilies growing there.
About the Victoria waterlily
The Victoria waterlilies are found in South America. Until very recently, the genus contained only two species, Victoria amazonica and Victoria cruziana; the first growing along the Amazon River and its tributaries, the latter further south along the Parana River. However a third - Victoria boliviana - has just been named. They are cultivated in many botanical gardens around the world, and are famous for their impressive giant leaves. Perhaps lesser known by the botanical garden visitor are their flowers, which open only at night. It was the flowers which first caught Lucy’s attention, in the form of an illustration by past Kew illustrator Walter Hood Fitch made in 1851. Kew’s Victoria waterlilies had not been illustrated since, nor were there any detailed illustrations showing all the differences between the species. Here was a challenge which would allow Lucy to put into practice all of the skills learned during her time at Kew.