- Color spectrum
- Features of the plant
- Myths and legends
- Interesting Facts
For some, water lilies - namely, white lilies - are what they call, flowers that are habitual and of little interest, for others, they are shrouded in legends and mystery. This plant has several names - nymphea, even a lotus (the name is used in Egypt and India in relation to individual species). We will get acquainted closer with the features of the external structure of the water representative of flora and learn about it a number of interesting facts.
In the photo of a water lily, you can see that the plant is notable for amazing elegance, natural harmony. It is a perennial, belongs to the family of Nymphaeae (Nymphaeaceae), it can be found in water bodies almost all over the globe, but prefers a temperate and tropical climate.
Distinctive features of the water lily are as follows:
- Powerful rhizome with a large number of long roots, due to which the plant is kept in the ground.
- The stem is transformed into a rhizome or has the appearance of a tuber.
- Large white flower with a yellow center. It is characterized by a symmetrical form, a long pedicel and a double perianth. Sepals no more than 4-5, several pestles.
- The leaf has a simple structure, thick, heart-shaped. Due to the fact that inside it there are cavities with air, it does not sink under water. There are plants with large sheets, there are also species in which they are small.
- There are also underwater leaves, folded cap and covered with films, the development of surface leaves occurs under them.
- The surface of the surface plates is dense, as if coated with wax - it is a means of protecting it from moisture. Most often they are green in color, but individual plants have bright burgundy colors, others are variegated.
- The fruit is underwater mnogolistovka.
The plant prefers to grow in reservoirs with stagnant water and good lighting. Some species due to their decorative properties have become actively used in landscape design, allowing you to create unique water compositions.
The color of the plant water lily is varied. In addition to our usual white flowers, you can find these options for coloring:
Bright colors are inherent in those plants that grow in warm corners of the planet, more modest design is inherent in water lilies - residents of Russia.
Features of the plant
Acquainted with the description of the water lily, we turn to the narrative of the distinctive features of this beautiful plant:
- In the morning, the water lily flowers bloom, but with the sunset close.
- Flowering occurs in the period from the second half of May to the end of August. The life span of one flower is small - no more than 4 days.
- Often the water lily is confused with another water representative of the flora, a jug, the distinguishing feature of which is bright yellow flowers.
You can meet the classic version of a water lily - a white water lily - in central Russia, in the Far East, Central Asia.
Consider the reproduction of lilies. The flower pollinated by insects sinks to the bottom, where ripening of a multi-seedling occurs - a fruit with a similar appearance to a berry. It contains more than a thousand seeds - small, black, caviar-like fish that float to the surface after the death of the berries. Floating on the water surface, they often become food for fish and birds, as well as carried by the current. Those seeds that have survived are gradually released from the mucus surrounding them and sink to the bottom, where they germinate.
Also, water lilies have the ability to multiply by rhizome, this method is considered the main one for them.
Myths and legends
Folk beliefs attribute the magical properties of the plant, calling it “overcoming grass”, mermaid color. It was believed that the water lily protects, helps to defeat the enemy, but if the thoughts of the person using it are black, the magic will be turned against him.
Scandinavian legends tell that each water lily has its own elf-friend, who lives exactly the same time as a beautiful plant.
We offer to get acquainted with a selection of interesting facts about water lilies:
- Sometimes these plants are confused with sea lilies, also resembling a water lily, but science has proven that the latter do not belong to the plant world, representing primitive animals.
- In the sheet of water lily, water lily, there is a large amount of air located in special cavities. Therefore, it is not immersed in water, if you place something on it that exceeds its weight, for example, a bird.
- The plant has a pleasant aroma that attracts insects for pollination. Sometimes beetles trapped inside the flower are forced to spend the night in it, because after sunset the water lily closes. In the morning, insects are selected from the flower captivity.
- It is considered amphibian - after drying, the native reservoir is able to survive on land.
Water lilies are indicators of the ecological situation in a reservoir - if their number is sharply reduced, it means the lake or pond is polluted.
Water lilies, photos of flowers which were presented above, were used by people from time immemorial, but in different ways.
- Thus, the ancient Slavs believed that this plant was a talisman for those traveling to distant countries, so travelers always took with them a small amylethead with water lily leaves and flowers.
- In ancient Greece, the water lily was revered as a symbol of beauty and femininity, so its elegant flowers were used to decorate girls. It is known that beautiful Elena, the unwitting culprit of the Trojan War, wore a wreath of water lilies at her wedding.
- In folk medicine, leaves, rhizome and large flowers are used. They help to get rid of headaches, help to overcome insomnia, are shown in diarrhea, pathologies of the gallbladder. A decoction of flowers, applied externally, relieves inflammation of the skin.
- In the Middle Ages, white water lilies were considered a symbol of purity, so their flowers were used as a means of suppressing sinful passion. Seeds were actively used as food by monks and nuns, but later studies proved that this approach was erroneous, the nymphea did not have the ability to fight with desire.
- The rhizome of the plant is rich in starch, so it can be used to make flour.
- Water lilies are so beautiful that they are actively used to decorate ponds. Gradually, the works of breeders managed to bring new varieties, including dwarfs, with pointed petals and bright colors, which earned love from fans of landscape design.
- Lily seeds, pre-cooked, are an excellent alternative to coffee.
Water lily - a plant of amazing beauty, which is a true decoration of the reservoir. The unusual nymphs, its ability to grow in the depths of the lake gave rise to a lot of legends, with which our distant ancestors tried to explain the unusual flower properties for them, which is why the water lily is still identified in consciousness with the mysterious mermaids.