The Water Lilies

Water Lilies Flower

The water lily has been an important flower in the many cultures that make up the world. It is also one of the most popularly photographed plants in the wild.

While many people attempt to grow some of the varieties of water lilies in their home ponds and water flower gardens, the most beautiful and prolific water lilies grow deep in the heart of dense freshwater environments.

Rain forest streams and ponds of both the Amazon and Southeast Asia hold some of the world's most exotic and rare strains of this sought after flower.

In some groups or tribes, the water lily is an important flower in many ceremonies and traditions as well. For those who enjoy gardening and flowers, there are a few water lily facts that he or she may want to know.

 Scientific Name

In the scientific world, the water lily is part of a larger family of plants called Nymphaceaceae. These flowering plants have been investigated for centuries by the scientific community due to the fact that so many of these flowers will not grow in a domesticated environment.

This early angiosperm goes on to produce basal angiosperms, which are the next evolved state of the lily that forms the flower. There were many studies performed with the water lily and the lotus. For many years, scientists thought there was a direct connection between the lotus and the water lily. If not in the same family, it was thought that the two were in the same genus.

However, further research has proven that the two have very little in common. The lotus comes from the order of plants referred to as Proteales while the water lily comes from the family of Nymphaeales, which is entirely separate from Proteales. Although the scientific community would find little relationship between the water lily and the lotus, the flowering water lily would becomeno less sacred.

 Description and Characteristics

Water Lily Facts:

The water lily is a flowering plant found in both temperate environments as well as tropical settings in many different places around the globe. There have been up to 70 documented types of water lilies found in North America, Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe. One of the most popular types, the Victoria genus, found in the Amazon rain forests of South America, are also known as giant water lilies.

This family is the largest family of water lilies known to human kind. These are also some of the most sought after water lilies as well, and some countries have laws concerning the disruption of these giant water lilies as they are considered traditional and sacred. Although the flower is rooted in the soil that makes up river banks, its leaves float atop of the rivers and streams where they will produce beautiful encapsulating flowers.

There are two types of water lilies:

The tropical water lilies are the only flowers that will bloom in the night, and are also the only type of water lilies that contain blue flowering petals.

The hardy variety of water lilies only bloom during the daylight hours.
Some names of hardy lilies include:
Natural Design:

The water lily is a very complex flower of nature.
Many people ask: what type of leaves do water lilies have? The many types of water lilies mostly contain a scattering of vascular bundles, which are present in the stems of the plants, which brings nutrients to the surface leaves and eventually the flowers. The leaves are more spiral than any other design.

The flowers of the water lily are considered to be radial and have a large peduncle that is raised above or floating on top of the water. The flowers contain up to 8 symetrical petals that are a number of colors.

In tropical flowers, the petals are a number of different colors although freshwater hardy water lilies are mostly different shades of white. The flower produces a fruit, small nut, or berry shaped fleshy capsule, which serves for continuous production of the flower.

Native Areas of Growth:

Although the water lily is native to a number of areas and considered a beautiful flower, they can be aggressive in their growth. For instance, in the San Joaquin Valley of California, the water lily was once cultivated as a domesticated flower. However, with its aggressive growth patterns, the flower has escaped its domesticated areas and has begun to grow in many freshwater streams and ponds. It has become somewhat of a nuisance that is not easily eradicated even with herbicides.

In the Gulf of Mexico, the plant is used in many areas as an ornamental plant and is also used to assist in erosion control. In the country of Bangladesh, the white water lily is the national flower. Likewise, in the Andhra Pradesh state of India, the blue water lily also holds the same status. The blue water lily is both the birth flower for July as well as the national flower for Sri Lanka.

Cultivation and Care

The propagation and cultivation of the water lily is fairly easy. If living in a temporal environment, it is best to find a variety of hardy water lily to grow. A large pot will be necessary, and it is best if it is wider than tall, because there will be the need for a layer of water on top. Place the top soil in the bottom of the pan or pot along with the water lily itself.

Once the flower is planted, an anchor should be placed on top of the top soil and on each side of the flower. This gives the flower a place to anchor itself as well as holds the top soil in place. Water can then be poured into the pot or container, and the plant should grow to the top. Flowering is not immediate and may take a couple of months depending on how long it takes the lily to anchor and adjust to the topsoil underneath the water.

 Diseases and Pests

For water lilies, there are not many diseases that are debilitating to the hardy variety. One of the main things that can damage these flowers are animals such as dogs, who are curious about the flower because it is in water. Dogs and other animals that are domesticated can knock over bowls and pots that contain the lily itself. There are a few diseases that affect water lilies as well.

Because they are grown in water, lilies do have the risk of certain fungal diseases. However, these diseases are usually easily treated with store bought chemicals and even home made remedies. For those that are watchful of their flowers and plants, the water lily is generally an easy flower to grow. What temperature do water lilies grow? Water temperature should be close to at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In some varieties, a few water lilies have a slight salt tolerance although growers should not be concerned with that.


There are many uses for the water lily, which are both decorative and utilitarian. Many people cultivate water lilies simply to grow the flower for decorative purposes. Ponds and flower garden pools are a great place to grow these flowers for a bit of natural color. The flowers produced by the water lily also produce a very fragrant smell.

There are some people that use this as a natural perfume. Finally, water lilies are a great source of food for many aquatic water animals. Many people plant the water lily in their fish ponds to cut back on the artificial fish food. There are a number of uses for the water lily, and research is finding more innovative uses each year.


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Water Lilies Flower Water Lilies Flower Water Lilies Flowers