Nymphaeaceae /ˌnɪmfiːˈeɪsiː/ is a family of flowering plants,
commonly called water lilies. They live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs
in temperate and tropical climates around the world. The family
contains five genera with about 70 known species. Water lilies are
rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on
or emergent from the surface. The leaves are round, with a radial
Nymphaea and Nuphar, but fully circular in Victoria and
Water lilies are a well studied clade of plants because their large
flowers with multiple unspecialized parts were initially considered to
represent the floral pattern of the earliest flowering plants, and
later genetic studies confirmed their evolutionary position as basal
angiosperms. Analyses of floral morphology and molecular
characteristics and comparisons with a sister taxon, the family
Cabombaceae, indicate, however, that the flowers of extant water
lilies with the most floral parts are more derived than the genera
with fewer floral parts. Genera with more floral parts, Nuphar,
Nymphaea, Victoria, have a beetle pollination syndrome, while genera
with fewer parts are pollinated by flies or bees, or are self- or
wind-pollinated. Thus, the large number of relatively unspecialized
floral organs in the
Nymphaeaceae is not an ancestral condition for
Water lilies do not have surface leaves in the winter time, and
therefore the gases in the rhizome lacunae access equilibrium with the
gases of the sediment water. The leftover of internal pressure is
embodied by the constant streams of bubbles that outbreak when rising
leaves are ruptured in the spring.
3 As invasive species
5 In visual arts
6 See also
8 Further reading
9 External links
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this
section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material
may be challenged and removed. (March 2015) (Learn how and when to
remove this template message)
Nymphaeaceae are aquatic, rhizomatous herbs. The family is further
characterized by scattered vascular bundles in the stems, and frequent
presence of latex, usually with distinct, stellate-branched sclereids
projecting into the air canals. Hairs are simple, usually producing
mucilage (slime). Leaves are alternate and spiral, opposite or
occasionally whorled, simple, peltate or nearly so, entire to toothed
or dissected, short to long petiolate), with blade submerged, floating
or emergent, with palmate to pinnate venation.
Stipules are either
present or absent. Flowers are solitary, bisexual, radial, with a long
pedicel and usually floating or raised above the surface of the water,
with girdling vascular bundles in receptacle.
Sepals are 4-12,
distinct to connate, imbricate, and often petal-like.
or 8 to numerous, inconspicuous to showy, often intergrading with
Stamens are 3 to numerous, the innermost sometimes
represented by staminodes. Filaments are distinct, free or adnate to
petaloid staminodes, slender and well differentiated from anthers to
laminar and poorly differentiated from anthers; pollen grains usually
monosulcate or lacking apertures.
Carpels are 3 to numerous, distinct
or connate. Fruit is an aggregate of nuts, a berry, or an irregularly
dehiscent fleshy capsule. Seeds are often arillate, more or less
Nymphaeaceae has been investigated systematically for decades because
botanists considered their floral morphology to represent one of the
earliest groups of angiosperms. Modern genetic analyses by the
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group researchers has confirmed its basal
position among flowering plants. In addition, the
Nymphaeaceae are more genetically diverse and geographically dispersed
than other basal angiosperms.
Nymphaeaceae is placed in the
order Nymphaeales, which is the second diverging group of angiosperms
Amborella in the most widely accepted flowering plant
classification system, APG IV system.
Nymphaeaceae is a small family of three to six genera: Barclaya,
Euryale, Nuphar, Nymphaea, Ondinea, and Victoria. The genus Barclaya
is sometimes given rank as its own family, Barclayaceae, on the basis
of an extended perianth tube (combined sepals and petals) arising from
the top of the ovary and by stamens that are joined in the base.
However, molecular phylogenetic work includes it in Nymphaeaceae.
Ondinea has recently been shown to be a morphologically
aberrant species of Nymphaea, and is now included in this genus.
The genera Euryale, of far east Asia, and Victoria, from South
America, are closely related despite their geographic distance, but
their relationship toward
Nymphaea need further studies.
The sacred lotus was once thought to be a water lily, but is now
recognized to be a highly modified eudicot in its own family
Nelumbonaceae of the order Proteales.
As invasive species
The beautiful nature of water lilies has led to their widespread use
as ornamental plants. The Mexican water lily, native to the Gulf Coast
of North America, is planted throughout the continent. It has escaped
from cultivation and become invasive in some areas, such as
California's San Joaquin Valley. It can infest slow-moving bodies of
water and is difficult to eradicate. Populations can be controlled by
cutting top growth. Herbicides can also be used to control populations
using glyphosate and fluridone.
The white water lily is the national flower of
Bangladesh and state
flower for Andhra Pradesh, India. The seal of
Bangladesh contains a
lily floating on water. The blue waterlily is the national flower of
Sri Lanka. It is also the birth flower for July.
Lily pads, also known as Seeblätter, are a charge in Northern
European heraldry, often coloured red (gules), and appear on the flag
of Friesland and the coat of arms of Denmark (in the latter case often
replaced by red hearts).
The water lily has a special place in
Sangam literature and Tamil
poetics, where it is considered symbolic of the grief of separation;
it is considered to evoke imagery of the sunset, the seashore, and the
In visual arts
Water lilies were depicted by the French artist Claude Monet
(1840–1926) in a series of paintings.
Lily pads floating in a lake in Toronto, Canada
Water lily at Sambalpur
Water Lilies, 1920-1926, Musée de l'Orangerie
Nuphar pumilum 2014 in China
Time-lapse video of a Water lily blooming
Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, famous for its giant water lilies
^ a b
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009), "An update of the Angiosperm
Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of
flowering plants: APG III", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society,
161 (2): 105–121, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x, retrieved
^ Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of
known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa.
Magnolia Press. 261 (3): 201–217.
^ a b Phylogeny, Classification and Floral Evolution of Water Lilies
(Nymphaeaceae; Nymphaeales): A Synthesis of Non-molecular, rbcL, matK,
and 18S rDNA Data, Donald H. Les, Edward L. Schneider, Donald J.
Padgett, Pamela S. Soltis, Douglas E. Soltis and Michael Zanis,
Systematic Botany, Vol. 24, No. 1, 1999, pp. 28-46
^ a b
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2016). "An update of the Angiosperm
Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of
flowering plants: APG IV" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean
Society. 181 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1111/boj.12385.
ISSN 0024-4074. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
^ a b As easy as APG III - Scientists revise the system of classifying
flowering plants, The Linnean Society of London, 2009-10-08, retrieved
^ a b APG III tidies up plant family tree, Horticulture Week,
2009-10-08, retrieved 2009-10-29
^ Mario Coiro & Maria Rosaria Barone Lumaga (2013): Aperture
evolution in Nymphaeaceae: insights from a micromorphological and
ultrastructural investigation, Grana, DOI:10.1080/00173134.2013.769626
^ Insights into the dynamics of genome size and chromosome evolution
in the early diverging angiosperm lineage
Nymphaeales (water lilies),
Jaume Pellicer, Laura J Kelly, Carlos Magdalena, Ilia Leitch, 2013,
^ Les DH, Schneider EL, Padgett DJ, Soltis PS, Soltis DE, Zanis M
(1999) Phylogeny, classification and floral evolution of water lilies
(Nymphaeaceae; Nymphaeales): a synthesis of non-molecular, rbcL, matK,
and 18S rDNA data. Systematic Botany 24: 28–46.
^ Löhne C, Wiersema JH, Borsch T (2009) The unusual Ondinea, actually
just another Australian water-lily of
Nymphaea subg. Anecphya
(Nymphaeaceae). Willdenowia 39: 55–58.
^ Löhne C, Borsch T, Wiersema JH (2007) Phylogenetic analysis of
Nymphaeales using fast-evolving and noncoding chloroplast markers.
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 154: 141–163.
^ Borsch T, Löhne C, Wiersema J (2008) Phylogeny and evolutionary
patterns in Nymphaeales: integrating genes, genomes and morphology.
Taxon 57: 1052–1081.
^ Dkhar J, Kumaria S, Rama Rao S, Tandon P (2012) Sequence
characteristics and phylogenetic implications of the nrDNA internal
transcribed spacers (ITS) in the genus
Nymphaea with focus on some
Plant Systematics and Evolution 298: 93–108.
^ Nyphaea genus
The genera of the
Nymphaeaceae and Ceratophyllaceae in the
southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 40: 94-112.
Perry D. Slocum: Waterlilies and Lotuses. Timber Press 2005,
ISBN 0-88192-684-1 (restricted online version at Google Books)
Thomas Borsch, Cornelia Löhne, Mame Samba Mbaye, and John H.
Wiersema. 2011. Towards a complete species tree of Nymphaea: shedding
further light on subg. Brachyceras and its relationships to the
Australian water-lilies. Telopea 13(1-2): 193-217.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nymphaeaceae.
Wikispecies has information related to Nymphaeaceae
Nymphaeaceae of Mongolia in FloraGREIF
National symbols of Bangladesh
Amar Sonar Bangla (national anthem)
Notuner Gaan (national march)
Red-Green (national flag)
Pakistani Instrument of Surrender
Pakistani Instrument of Surrender (national document)
Bengali (national language)
Monuments and Memorials
Shaheed Minar (1952, martyr monument)
National Martyrs’ Memorial
National Martyrs’ Memorial (1971, national monument)
Martyred Intellectuals Memorial
Martyred Intellectuals Memorial (1971, martyr monument)
Column of Independence
Column of Independence (1971, independence monument)
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Father of the Nation)
Kazi Nazrul Islam
Kazi Nazrul Islam (National poet)
M. A. G. Osmani
M. A. G. Osmani (National hero)
Flora and fauna
Mango Tree (national tree)
Doel (national bird)
Water lily (national flower)
Royal Bengal Tiger (national animal)
Jackfruit (national fruit)
Ilish (national fish)
Kabaddi (national game)
Bengali calendar (national calendar)
Bangamata (national personification)
Watson & Dallwitz: nymphaea