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Water lily

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Water Lily
Water lily (Nymphaea).jpg
Scientific Classification
  • Euryale (euryale)
  • Nuphar (pond-lily)
  • Nymphaea (waterlily)
  • Victoria giant (waterlily)[1]

Water lily is a common name for a small family of aquatic plants called Nymphaeaceae. There are about seventy different types of water lilies. All of the members of Nymphaeaceae are perennial, except for the genus Euryale. Euryale is an annual or short-lived perennial found only in Asia.


Anatomy of Nymphaeaceae by Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé

Most species of water lilies have waxy-coated, rounded, floating leaves that are attached to long stalks that contain many air spaces. There are thick, fleshy, underwater stems that are buried in the mud. And from these, the stalks arise. Submerged leaves can also be common on some water lilies. This type of plant has cup-like flowers. Each flower has a spiral arrangement of its numerous petals.


Water lily.jpg

For reproduction, the water lilies extend roots into the water, but they produce flowers above the water. The flowers can disperse pollen by air, water, or even insects. They reproduce through both seeds and rhizome spread. A planted rhizome will cover about a 15ft diameter circle in about 5 years. Nymphaea rhizomes can be cut into 10cm or larger pieces for propagation. They have a delicate life-span, which is highly dependent on its environment.


The water lily are very well adapted to their habitat or ecological niche. As the name implies, they live and grow on the edges of shallow water, lakes or ponds. They don’t like competition for sunlight; that is why many different plants cannot be found in the wild to surround them. It is really important for them to have all the sunlight they can get because it is the main resource for them to receive food and energy. They are usually able to store a lot of energy, so that makes them rather large. Not only do they need the sunlight, but they also need clean water that has fresh, rich oxygen. They normally live in the wetlands. And as of now, the wetlands are in danger, which also puts the water lilies in danger too. They are in danger because people now days keep draining the wetlands. This type of plant reproduces rapidly, but there is nowhere for them to reproduce anymore because of this. The climate of the lilies habitat is, most of the time, hot.