For the past four years, botanical artist and illustrator, Lucy T Smith, has been working with horticulturalist Carlos Magdalena and a team of scientists from Kew and Bolivia to describe and name the first new species of giant waterlily in over a century.
You can read all about her journey to the discovery on her website, where it is described in detail along with her beautiful illustrations.
She explains how “We examined hundreds of herbarium specimens and iNaturalist records. The herbarium specimens allowed us to study details of the plants up close, while the iNaturalist records allowed us to observe gross morphological features that were lost in a pressed specimen. Both sources proved us with geographical information which was collated and put into distribution maps”.
“Victoria boliviana” was officially announced to the world on 4 July 2022.