Introduction to
Euryale ferox
& Its Cultivation

by Kit Knotts - Click images to enlarge

Euryale, (ur-ee-al-ee) the"Gorgon Plant", is first cousin to Victoria. There is just one species in the genus, ferox, and the plant is indeed ferocious! Every part of it has thorns, even the tops of the pads. It can get quite large but lacks the upturned rims of Victoria.

Euryale ferox is native to temperate Asia, Japan, China, Korea and the far-eastern Russian Federation, and to tropical Asia, including India and Bangladesh. It generally grows in cooler conditions than Victoria.

The pads of Euryale appear quilted and the reverse is brilliant purple, matching the flower color. The flowers, however, are very small related to the size of the plant and they open during the day. You have to be vigilant to see them because they only open for a brief time in the morning and this often occurs under the water! It is rare but rewarding for the flowers to open above the surface.

As a result of the flowers opening under water, Euryale is almost exclusively self-pollinated. Our experiments show it produces pollen the day BEFORE it opens. (See 1999 Can It Happen?) In the wild, flowers open above the water at the end of the season, allowing some opportunity for cross-pollination.

Resulting seeds are "lumpy" as compared with Victoria and somewhat larger. The arils that surround the seeds at pod rupture are streaked with bright red and very beautiful.

For some, Euryale grows very easily - to the point of being characterized as a weed. Other growers struggle with them. In general, treating them like Victorias produces the best results.

Seeds need to be stored cold (45F- 7C) to prevent sprouting When germination is desired, seeds will sprout at room temperature and higher. "Nicking" (removing the operculum) isn't necessary. From this point on, cultivation follows that recommended for Victoria, except that temperatures can be somewhat lower. (See Victoria Cultivation)

Euryale Gallery
Victoria's Cousin by Josh Spece
Billy Bates & Steve Kennon's Euryale ferox

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