Lonely Planet Writer

Giant water lilies turn this spot in Paraguay into a stunning sea of green

A stunning display of giant water lilies have appeared along a river in Paraguay, delighting locals and travellers alike with their beauty and size.

The incredible lily pads are impressing visitors in Paraguay. Image by NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP/Getty Images

The lilies – which are called Victoria cruziana and are known as Yakare Yrupe in the Guarani language – have bloomed Paraguay River in Piquete Cue, which is located just north of the country’s capital of Asunción, for the first time in years, reports the Telegraph.

The incredible lily pads are impressing visitors in Paraguay. Image by NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP/Getty Images

The country’s environment ministry has stated that the plant has been disappearing from the Paraguay River due to cleaning work and because the plants are occasionally illegally taken from the water by visitors, according to a Spanish-language Associated Press report. This year’s bloom has been exceptional, much to the delight of guests who travel out onto the water in boats to get a closer look.

The incredible lily pads are impressing visitors in Paraguay. Image by NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP/Getty Images

The plant is among the largest water lilies in the world and has a distinctive vertical edge. It thrives in shallow waters in South America but is also a staple of botanical gardens around the world. A European explorer for the British government came across the Victoria amazonica plant, which belongs to the same genus, in what is now Guyana back in 1837, in the first year of the reign of Queen Victoria. Seeds from the plants were transported to Britain’s Kew Gardens in 1849 and the plant bloomed later that year.