Nature lovers get rare chance to admire world’s smallest water lily in bloom

Photo: Botanická zahrada Praha

Visitors to Prague’s Botanical Garden in Troja have a rare chance to see the world’s smallest water lily in bloom. The plant, called Nymphaea thermarum in Latin, isn’t just tiny; it is also one of the rarest plants in the world.

Nymphaea thermarum is the world’s smallest water lily yet described, with the leaves measuring only one centimetre in diameter. By comparison, the leaves of the largest water lily, Victoria Amazonica, can reach up to three metres.

The world’s tiniest water lily was only discovered in 1987. Less than 30 years later it was considered extinct in the wild, due to the destruction of its native habitat. It was saved from extinction when it was grown from a seed at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London in 2009.

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Author: Ruth Fraňková