giant water lily




pronounced: nim-fee-AY-see-eye

the water lily family

Nymphaea, the type genus, is from the ancient Greek name for a water-lily, νυμφαια (nymphaia). The Greek word was probably inspired by νυμφη (nymphé), a nymph. The spring-nymphs (Naiads) were beautiful minor goddesses who presided over fountains, wells, springs, streams, and brooks. Water lilies are aquatic rhizomatous herbs, rooted in soil, with leaves and flowers floating on the surface of the water. The leaves are round, with a radial notch in some genera. The flowers are solitary, bisexual, radial, and have long pedicels. The fruit may be an aggregate of nuts, a berry, or an irregularly dehiscent fleshy capsule.



Photograph © Donald Simpson 2013