Parents pay to have waterlily photo

Three babies on a waterlily in Belgium Credit: Plantentuin Meise

When one thinks of water lilies, the picture conjured up is normally a small flowering plant sitting in a pond, but not in South America.

There, the waterlilies don’t flower but grow to a large size and look like green dishes, with many being transported as seeds to Europe.

Intern’s useful mistake

The Ghent Botanical Gardens in Belgium have a number of one particular hybrid, the Victoria longwood which was created in the USA in the 1960s and normally grows to a diameter of around 1.5 metres but this year is different.

Thanks to a change in the fertilisers placed in the water to develop the plants (which have to be grown from seed each year) and an apparently overzealous intern adding more fertiliser than usual, this year’s crop has grown an extra metre.

The larger than usual lilies in Ghent
Credit: Ghent Botanical Gardens

Whilst they tend to last all year long in South America, there isn’t enough sunlight during the winter to keep the Ghent waterlilies alive and therefore the same painstaking process has to be followed each year.

Not just frogs on the lily pad

Another Belgian Botanical Garden, the Plantentuin in Meise makes quite a lot of money from their waterlilies by charging families €50 to have a photograph of a baby sitting on top of the plant in the middle of the pool.

It is not known whether there was a discount for three at once.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page