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Nymphaeaceae (water lilies) A family of aquatic herbs that have large, rounded, floating leaves on long stalks, attached to rhizomes rooted on the bottom of the river or lake. The flowers are large and solitary, with 3–6 green sepals, 3 to numerous petals, numerous stamens, and many carpels which are usually joined into a many-celled superior ovary of flask-shaped or globose form. There are some 6 genera, with 60 species, found throughout tropical and temperate areas of the world.