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water lily

water lily, common name for some members of the Nymphaeaceae, a family of freshwater perennial herbs found in most parts of the world and often characterized by large shield-shaped leaves and showy, fragrant blossoms of various colors. Among the plants of the family are the water lilies, lotuses, and pond lilies (called also cow lilies and spatterdocks) of the genera Nymphaea,Nelumbo, and Nuphar, respectively; however, the common names often overlap; e.g., "water lily" is used for most species of the family and even for other unrelated aquatic plants with similar flowers. Most species of Nymphaea in cultivation are tropical, but some of the hardy kinds are native to the United States and to the corresponding temperate areas of the Southern Hemisphere. Both day- and night-blooming species open at fairly definite hours. Included in the genus is the blue or white Egyptian lotus (Nymphaea caerulea or N. lotus, respectively), sacred from remote times and the national emblem of Egypt. The lotus flower is traditional in Egyptian art and architecture, as in the lotus capital. The genus Nelumbo contains two species: the American, or yellow, lotus, also called water chinquapin, is found in E North America; the Indian lotus, also called the sacred lotus or Egyptian bean, is sacred to Hinduism and to several other Asian religions, e.g., Buddhism. Its large pink blossom is used symbolically in religion and art. The seeds of the sacred lotus can remain viable after long periods of dormancy (see seed). Most species of Nuphar are native to North America. Many members of the water lily family have seeds or tubers that have been used for food; however, the fruit of the lotus-eaters of classical literature has been most often identified as that of the jujube of the buckthorn family or the nettle-tree of the elm family. Lotus is also the botanical name for a genus of the pea family. Water lilies are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Nymphaeales, family Nymphaeaceae.

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"water lily." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"water lily." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/water-lily

Nymphaea

Nymphaea (water lilies; family Nymphaeaceae) A genus of perennial, aquatic plants, found in shallow water, that have large rhizomes and peltate or cordate, usually floating leaves. The flowers are solitary, with green or coloured sepals, and 3 to many petals. The ovary is half-inferior, and the seeds have an aril. The flowers are often pollinated by beetles. Many species are cultivated, and the seeds and rhizomes can be eaten. There are 35 species, found in temperate and tropical regions of the world.

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"Nymphaea." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Nymphaea." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved May 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/nymphaea

water lily

wa·ter li·ly • n. an aquatic plant (family Nymphaeaceae) with large round floating leaves and large, typically cup-shaped, floating flowers. Several genera and many species include the white-flowered fragrant water lily (Nymphaea odorata) of eastern North America.

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"water lily." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"water lily." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-lily

"water lily." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved May 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-lily

water lily

water lily Any of c.90 species of freshwater plants widely distributed in temperate and tropical regions. They have leaves that float at the surface, and showy flowers of white, pink, red, blue, or yellow. Family Nymphaeaceae; genera Nymphaea, Nuphar, Nelumbo, and Victoria.

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"water lily." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"water lily." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/water-lily

"water lily." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved May 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/water-lily