Known as the “Giant Water Platter,” South America’s giant Amazon water lily has strong leaves that reach 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) across and can support the weight of a child. The water lilies produce flowers that open at night and are the size of a dinner plate. The first night they are white female flowers; on the second night they turn to pink male flowers.
Beetles and sphinx moths that live in the Amazon River region pollinate the flowers and the seedpods—that are the size of a baby’s head—sink beneath the water, where they lay dormant in the mud for up to four years before germinating. The plant lays dormant for a period every year before producing more leaves that increase in size before it flowers again. However, the giant water lily’s leaves are not the biggest on Earth. Palm trees can grow leaves up to 65 feet (20 meters) long!