Miniature Victorias

By Kit Knotts
with Travis Andrews & Joe Summers

Click images to enlarge


When a very small V. cruziana began to bloom in the summer of 2002, we were completely charmed by it, though it didn't really fulfill the need for a larger one in our seed production plan. Growing in a 10 gallon pot (where we have previously grown plants to 40" or more), this one never exceeded 27" in pad size. It was the smallest Victoria we have ever bloomed but made 13 flowers and actually produced quite a few seeds.



Little did we know we were going to experience far smaller! In late October 2002, a cruziana that we had cramped in an 8" pot all summer made a single flower. It was so cute! We self-pollinated the flower and await the results. The two pads that it maintained never exceeded 12".




At about the same time, Travis Andrews of Missouri Botanical Gardens wrote, "Here's a picture of a mini 'Longwood Hybrid', grown completely in the greenhouse in 12" of water and in a 6" standard plastic pot. In the second picture you can see a tape measure stretched to 24". Mine tend to have one larger leaf and several smaller ones."

There is historical precedence for these miniatures. William Tricker wrote (in The Water Garden, 1897): "Last year a few plants that were not wanted were allowed to remain in eight-inch pots, where they produced flower buds and one perfect flower, and would have continued to flower had they not been removed."

We also know that Stan Skinger bloomed very small Victorias at Denver Botanic Gardens (or in his basement) as did Joe Summers at MBG. It seems to occur very late in the season with plants limited in pot size and fed very little.

Please note that these are normal Victorias which could have attained the large size of their siblings if moved to larger containers at the appropriate times. We think their tendency to bloom in the fall is triggered by both the plants' age and shortening day length. Since it doesn't happen often, we are just speculating.

The miniatures above are not to be confused with V. "Tonya's Flirt", also a miniature but an enormous spoof that Joe Summers played on the IWGS email list. Many wrote asking for the new hybrid before Joe confessed: "My wife Tonya and I were at a local Walmart and I headed over to the garden department. I saw three Victoria leaves in a pond display. I asked the worker where to find them so I could buy some. He said he did not have them for sale nor did he know where they came from.


Victoria "Tonya's Flirt"

"Amazed by my find I took Tonya back to the pond display to show her. When we returned home we wrote Kit to find out if she had seen or heard of these artificial lilies. No luck on finding them elsewhere.

"A few days later, (Father's Day) I opened a gift and found the Victoria. Tonya had returned to Walmart with a mission. She revealed that she poured on her charm, flirting unmercifully with the male garden department manger in order to purchase this one and only sample. She paid $5 for this great gift."

Within The Victoria Section . . .

 Introduction to Victoria

 Victoria's History

 Index to

Image Galleries

Identification of Varieties


 Gardens That Display Victoria



Waterlilies | Lotus | Aquatic Plants | Victoria | Our Adventure With Victoria
Water Gardening | Water Gardening Friends | New This Month
Kit & Ben Knotts | Our Garden | Search The Site | Home