Victoria at the
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

by Pat Clifford, Senior Horticulturist - Click images to enlarge

Victoria 'Longwood Hybrid'

The glasshouse complex with Edinburgh's skyline in the distance
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland, has been displaying Victoria for the past thirty years. The whole complex pictured above has five different houses, opened in 1967, and the Victorias are grown in the Tropical Aquatic House. The house has just been renamed People and Plants because it contains many economically important plants and plants with ethno-botanical uses. There have been Victorias grown in this house since it was opened and I personally have been looking after the house for 12 years. In addition to this house I also look after the Rainforest Riches glasshouse. We have another four large public glasshouses, one of which is the newly renovated temperate Palm House which is the tallest in Britain.

Tropical Aquatic House - People and Plants

Temperate Palm House
  We have one of the best displays in the UK due to the large size of our tropical pond, 82,000 litres. We also have a viewing chamber below the pond, where the public can get a great view of the underside of the leaves and also the tropical fish. My colleague Alistair Paxton is in the picture. >


This photograph, taken in 2003, features the daughter of a member of staff sitting on the six foot leaf of Victoria 'Longwood Hybrid'. I was standing just out of the frame in my waders as the lifeguard. Literally seconds after the shot was taken, the baby reached out to touch the flower and plunged through the leaf and into the pond, much to everyone's horror. I quickly pulled her out and she was fine, never even shedding a tear. Quite a few of the staff witnessed this hair-raising event and we all have a good laugh about it now. I'm sure in years to come she will have many laughs with her friends as this tale is recounted with some embarrassment no doubt!

Page 2 - 2004 Display | Page 3 - 2005 Display
Page 4 - Behind The Scenes | Page 5 - "Chop and Drop"

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