Here is a very interesting cross section model of a Victoria Water Lilly flower.
© The Field Museum, B81924, Photographer John Bayalis.
Victoria Water Lilly. Victoria regia. Model of floral section. Detail of diorama.
If you get to see this monstrous plant blossom in person, you’ll notice that its flower is about as big as a wrestler’s fist. Maybe both fists, actually. It creeps up from the water to bloom for only a couple of days, opening white on the first evening to attract a singular species of scarab with its enticing aroma.
The flower then closes back up, trapping the beetles inside for the night and into the next day. By the time it opens again on the second evening the petals have flushed red, and the beetles—covered in pollen but well-fed—move on to other white, first-night flowers to continue the plant’s life cycle. Once fertilized, the flower’s stalk cinches up, drawing the bloom back underwater for the business of forming seeds. All very neat. —MN