It is already considered a botanical wonder of the world: a water lily with leaves measuring three meters in diameter causes a stir.

Sensational find in London’s botanical garden: A giant water lily, which has been kept in Kew Gardens for almost 180 years, has been identified as a new species.

This emerges from a message from Monday. The discovery of the new species, whose leaves can reach a diameter of more than three meters, was celebrated as a “botanical wonder of the world”.

So far, only two species of giant water lilies of the genus Victoria have been known: Victoria amazonica and Victoria cruziana. The newly discovered species was given the name Victoria boliviana. All three species come from South America.

“Since I first saw a photo of this plant online in 2006, I’ve been convinced it’s a new species,” said Carlos Magdalena, a horticultural researcher for Kew, according to the release. Finally, new data and a “unique mix of expert knowledge” brought the proof. Among other things, it was proven with a genetic analysis that Victoria boliviana differs significantly from the other two species.