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Information about: Water Lily

Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.

Water Lily, also called Pond Lily, is a name applied to plants of the genus Nymphaea. They are all aquatic perennial herbs with mostly roundish, peltate, or heart-shaped leaves which float on the surface of the water. Both leaves and flowers grow from rootstalks imbedded in the mud of ponds or sluggish streams, the petioles and flower stalks sometimes attaining a length of several feet. The American species are the Nymphaea odorata, with sweet scented flowers from three to four inches in diameter, mostly white, but sometimes pinkish or even deep pink, the pinkish variety being most common in the Lake Champlain region and eastward, and Nymphaea tuberosa, with larger flowers four to nine inches in diameter, which are nearly scentless. This species is most abundant in the region of the Great Lakes. Nymphaea caerulea is a blue Egyptian species cultivated in aquaria. The flowers are sweet scented. The so-called yellow pond lily belongs to the genus Nuphar. It is often associated with the Nymphaea. Victoria regia is the name given in honor of Queen Victoria to the most magnificent genus of the order Nymphaeaceae. There is only one species recognized by botanists, a native of the Amazonian region of South America, where it was first observed by the unfortunate botanical traveler Haenke, in 1801, and said to have been met with by the French naturalist D'Orbigny, in 1827, but not described until it was found by Poppig in the Amazon in 1832. This noble water lily has floating leaves of a bright green above, and a deep purple or violet on the lower surface, measuring as much as five and one-half feet in diameter, with a uniformly turned-up margin of about three inches, thus resembling huge shallow trays. The flowers, which are proportionately large some measuring fourteen inches in diameter are of all shades from white to pink, and are delightfully fragrant.