Water lily.

Water lily is one kind of flower. A Lot of good sides. Beautiful color large size and look attractive. All ages of people like it very much. This flower seed or plant is food for fish. Grow at the water.

Introduction of Water lily.

Water lily close view

Water lily close view

Water lily. Many people on rural, survive their life by selling this flower. Lot of demand on market place. One kind of food for rural people. White water lily is the national flower of Bangladesh. Located on the emblem is a water lily, that is bordered on two sides by rice sheaves. The water lily is the country’s national flower, and is representative of the many rivers that run through Bangladesh.

Blue water lily is the national flower of Sri Lanka and white water lily is the state flower of Andhra Pradesh, India. Although it is the national flower, water lily is a neglected plant in this country. The various fossils obtained testify that water lilies existed on the earth about 160 million years ago.

There is evidence of the origin of white and blue Water lily in ancient Egypt. Water lily grows in many countries in Africa, Australia and Asia. There are also water lilies in America and England. In almost all parts of the country, water lilies grow in ponds, lakes, ponds and canals. Water lily flowers are very beautiful to look at. As an ornamental tree it is therefore planted in aquatic gardens. Its tubers and inflorescences are eaten as vegetables.

What is water lily?

Nymphaeaceae is a family of flowering plants, commonly called water lilies. They live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs in temperate and tropical climates around the world.

This plant has spread in different areas since ancient times. This flower is very popular in Thailand and Myanmar for decorating ponds and gardens. White water lily is found in ponds and lakes of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Yemen, Taiwan, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and other countries. This flower is also found in Papua New Guinea and some parts of Australia. These flowers are found in farmland as well as in wild areas. These flowers can be seen blooming in the frozen water of the harvested paddy field. About 35 species of this plant have been found in the world.

Classification of water lily.

Superorder: Nymphaeanae

Order: Nymphaeales

Family: Nymphaeaceae – water lilies

Genus: Nymphaea L. – waterlily, water lily

Species: Nymphaea odorata Aiton – American waterlily, white waterlily, American white waterlily

The identity of the water lily tree.

There are about 50-60 species of water lilies in the world. In Bangladesh, white water lily (Nymphaea alba, Nymphaea pubiscence), red water lily (Nymphaea rubra), blue water lily (Nymphaea nouchali and Nymphaea capensis) and light blue water lily (Nymphaea stellata) are seen. Rare yellowish water lily (Nymphaea amazonum) is occasionally seen somewhere.

The most common is the white water lily. The range of red shuffles and blue shufflers is then limited. Light blue water lilies are occasionally seen in scattered areas of Noakhali, Khulna, Satkhira, Sylhet districts of Bangladesh.

A boat in a water lily field

A boat in a water lily field

Water lily is an aquatic herb. Once it grows somewhere, the tree grows there until its roots are completely removed. The trunk of the tree is in the soil or mud under the water, the leaves are floating on the water, the tube-like petals and the long stems of the flowers are in the water, the flowers are blooming on the water. If water is available, the petiole can be 2-3 meters long. There are many hollow tubes inside the petals and petals. The inflorescence or flower stem is called ‘nal’ or ‘nile’ in the local language. Although the leaves are round, the stem is heart-shaped, the edges of the leaves are wavy. The flowers look a lot like lotus flowers. However, the petals are thinner and harder than the lotus flower. The flowers are very beautiful to look at.


Time of Blooming water lily.

Although it blooms from late spring to early autumn, it blooms more in monsoon season. The highest growth of trees occurs during the monsoon season. White water lilies bloom at night and during the day. That is why the white water lily is called Kumud. During the day red and blue water lilies bloom.

The fruits are hollow, green and round like a sponge, floating in a semi-submerged state, when ripe the fruit bursts. The fruit contains many cells. Those cells contain a lot of seeds. Seed color black or brown, small, about 1 mm in diameter.

Uses of water lily.

Water lily has been used as human food since ancient times. Water lily saves many lives, especially during famine. Many people in Africa eat their native wild tubers of Water lily. Some people in Africa cultivate Water lily for food. Motha or tuber is cooked and eaten as a vegetable in many countries and is also eaten in salads. Motha is used in herbal treatment. In this country, as a vegetable, the petals or flower stalks are widely eaten in the rural areas. White water lily is eaten as a vegetable. Red and blue water lilies are not commonly eaten.


Nutritional value of water lily.

The nutritional value of different parts of water lilies is different. The highest aqueous content is in coarse or tubers (20.4%) and the lowest in seeds (4.18%). Seeds are high in fat. The highest protein content is in leaves (25.4%) and the lowest is in nile (10.0%). Dietary fiber is 9.5-15.1%. Nile contains the highest amount of potassium (1.58-4.83%) and sodium (1.9-4.21%). It also contains significant amounts of calcium, zinc, iron and sodium.


Water hyacinth and water lily are not pollinated by water because their flowers are not submerged in water and do not release pollen grains in the water. Water pollinated plants include common waterweed, and eel-grass.

Water Lilies in the Nymphaea genus have an unusual and somewhat exploitive strategy for pollination. During the first day the flowers are open, only the cup-like stigmatic surface of the gynoecium or female organ is receptive. This stigmatic cup is filled with sweet and sticky liquid, attracting insects carrying pollen from other plants. Insects drawn by the liquid fall in and drop off their pollen with an unexpected bath before hopefully escaping. The pollen then dissolves and fertilizes the flower. To help encourage this process of insects falling into the liquid the inner stamens around the bowl are often flexible and thin, bending under the insects ’weight and dropping them into the sticky pool. Most insects may survive, but enough are caught and drowned to make visiting these flowers hazardous!

Types of Water Lilies.

There are two main divisions of waterlilies:

Hardy and Tropical.

Hardy water lily:

Hardy water lilies will survive winters if they are planted below the freezing line in a water feature, while tropical water lilies need to be stored over the winter or treated as annuals. In addition to cold hardiness, tropical water lilies differ from hardy water lilies in several ways.

Tropical water lilies:

1. Can have larger flowers

2. Have longer stalks that hold the flower higher above the surface of the water, and they tend to have larger lily pads

3. Come in a range of colors, including blues and purples; hardy waterlilies come only in shades of yellows, reds, whites, pinks, and pastel orange

4. Are more fragrant.

5. Come in day-blooming varieties (diurnal) and night-blooming varieties (nocturnal); hardy waterlilies are only day-blooming.


Propagation of water lily.

Water lily breeding occurs in two ways – from seed and organ. It does not last more than 3-4 days after flowering. On the first day of flowering, a kind of sweet fragrance comes out from the flower which attracts different pollinating insects. Attracted by the beauty and fragrance of flowers, insects roam around and pollinate. The day after flowering, the male stamens produce pollen which is carried by these insects and falls into the cervix of the female hair and fertilization is completed. After 3-4 days of flowering, fruit formation begins. The formation of about 2000 seeds inside a fruit continues for about two weeks. When the fruit ripens, it floats on the water and bursts. Naturally the seeds of those fruits are spread in water and moved to different places. If you want to make seedlings, collect ripe fruits before cracking and dry them in the sun. The seeds are collected and spread in submerged mud to form seedlings.

The second method of making saplings is from its tubers or yolk. At the base of the water lily, there is a rhizome with roots in the soil. Naturally, water lilies grow from it again. When these nuts are picked and cut into whole or new pieces, new trees grow from them. In addition, if the seedlings that emerge from the water under the water are carefully separated, new plants will grow from them. Slowly growing fertilizer or tablet fertilizer can be applied in the soil to improve the growth of plants growing from these seedlings.


How to grow or Cultivation system of water lily.

Water lily is not cultivated in this country like other crops, it grows naturally in water bodies. On the contrary, sometimes it emerges as a weed. If there is a pond or reservoir lying around the house, Water lily can be produced for eating as a vegetable by cultivating water lilies there, and cultivation can also be done in the pond. Water lily can be grown in small ponds or ditches in the garden by burying motha or tuber directly. The seedlings can be grown in a separate container and buried in the ground under the water of the pond Growing waterlilies is easy and fun. If you have a container that holds water (your pond), a pot and some firm soil, you can have a waterlily as part of your water garden.

Bonus tips:

Water lilies require a lot of suns to grow properly. In frost-free regions, they bloom all year. In cooler regions, they bloom during the summer and often into the fall. Throughout their growing season, they constantly generate leaf growth.
Waterlilies need still water and full sun. Choose the right waterlily for your pond – there are several types, with each type requiring a specific planting depth. Place your waterlily on a 20cm-deep brick ‘plinth’ initially, and gradually lower it over the growing season. In autumn, trim back dead foliage of hardy waterlilies and let them die back to the bottom of the pond. Lift tender waterlilies and keep them somewhere frost-free over winter.
If you want to cultivate water lilies in ponds, containers and aquaculture, the following steps can be followed.


Potting Waterlilies.

When choosing a pot for your waterlily, it’s always a good idea to use something wider than it is tall to minimize the possibility of tipping over.
Any sort of container will do though, including nursery pots, clay pots, oil changing pans, cat litter boxes and so on. Any with holes should be lined with several layers of newspaper (if you want the roots to escape eventually) or sheet plastic (if you don’t want the roots to escape).

Here are some tips to grow water lily;

Check the size.

There are four sizes of waterlily:

  • Large,
  • Medium,
  • Dwarf, and
  • Miniature.

As a general rule, the spread of the plant is similar to the depth that it needs to be planted at 90cm for large varieties, 60cm for medium, 30cm for dwarf, and 25cm for miniature.

Plant according to size.

The large and medium types are suitable for most garden ponds; The large ones will provide instant impact, while the medium ones may take a few years to reach their full potential. Dwarf types (such as ‘Walter Pagels’, below) and miniatures are best for ponds in pots or very small ponds.

Grow in a sunny spot in still water.

Waterlilies need to be grown in a sunny spot. They don’t like having their leaves splashed so don’t put them under a spray, fountain, or waterfall.

Plant at the right depth.

Planting at the right depth is the key to success. Read the advice on the label – you can drown waterlilies if you plant them too deep.

Feed regularly.

Large varieties such as Nymphaea ‘Gladstoniana’ are especially heavy feeders. Feed plants with aquatic food tablets during the growing season. If the leaves turn light green or yellow, or the flowers become smaller, it’s a sign that they’re not getting enough food.

Remove dead foliage.

Remove any dead foliage or flowers in summer. In autumn, the leaves will start to go brown, at which point they should be removed. The plant will go dormant in winter before re-sprouting in spring.

Care of Water Lily.


Make sure your waterlily or lotus gets enough sunlight for at least four hours, but ideally six hours or more. Some lotus will not flower unless they get six hours of sunlight daily.


Always use topsoil that is free from herbicides and pesticides. Do not use potting soil, which has elements that will float. The containers should be large enough to allow the rhizome room to spread. Since the rhizomes creep across the surface of the soil, a wider pot is preferable to a deeper one.


Strike a balance between plants and the surface area of ​​the pond; plants should cover approximately 65 percent of the surface area. Also, pay attention to depth when you are planting your aquatic plants. With new plantings, initially place the pot just below the surface and gradually lower it as the plant grows. Once the plant is established, the pot can remain at the desired depth.

Temperature and Humidity.

Lotus and hardy water lilies will be hardy if their tuberous rhizomes do not freeze. Plant the containers so that the soil line is below the freezing mark in your pool. Lotus flowers are late to emerge in the spring, as they prefer warm weather and will start to grow once the water temperature has risen above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tropical water lilies can be stored over winter by lifting the plant from the container and storing the rhizome in a plastic bag full of damp sand or a mix of damp sand and peat moss at 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Storage and Germination of Seeds.

{Nuphar variegata}”Nymphozanthus variegatus (yellow pond lily). Seeds stored in cold water for 7 months gave 43 per cent germination, mostly between 15 to 24 days after the germination test was begun. Seeds stored for 2 to 7 months dry or in water at room temperature, did not germinate even after subsequent chilling or puncturing of the seed coats.”

{Nymphaea odorata subsp. tuberosa} “ Nymphaea tuberosa (white water-lily) seeds gave fair germinations, 16 to 56 per cent, after 2 to 7 months of storage in cold water. Seeds stored dry or in water at room temperature did no germinate evens after subsequent chilling or puncturing of the seed coats… [another lot of seeds] placed in cold storage in water gave 44 per cent germination within 10 days.”

Cultivation Process of Water Lily from seeds:

Water lilies come in both hardy and tropical varieties. Grow these beautiful flowers in your pond by purchasing tubers or starting water lilies or by starting them from seeds. If you decide to start your tropical water lilies or hardy water lilies by seed, find a mature adult water lily plant to harvest seeds from, and you will need a plastic bag, paper towels, garden soil, a small hand shovel, white sand, and several containers.

Collection of Seeds.

Water lilies disperse their seeds in pods. If you are interested in collecting seeds, you must wait until these pods mature. Then place a plastic baggie over the seed pod and loosely secure it to the stem with a twist tie. Allow water to fill the baggie and let the seed pod sink under the surface of the water.
NB. If you do not have any plants from where you can collect seeds, you can buy from market ensuring the quality of seeds.

Preparation of seeds for planting:

If you are working with tropical water lilies, place your seeds into a paper towel and allow them to dry in your refrigerator. You will keep your seeds in the fridge until you are ready to plant them.

If you are working with hardy water lilies, leave your seeds in water until you are ready to plant them.

Transplanting Water Lily Seedlings:

Once your water lilies have sprouted a couple of leaves, they will be ready for transplanting into individual containers. Prepare your new containers by adding a layer of garden soil to the bottom of each pot. Now you are ready for planting water lilies in their own containers.

Different between Water lily and Lotus.

Water lily flowers and leaves are thick and waxy while the lotus’ are thin and papery. A water lily also has a recognizable notch in each leaf. The water lily petal is pointed and creates a star-like bloom; the lotus petal is more rounded, sometimes ruffly.

The biggest difference is that water lilies (Nymphaea species) leave and flowers both float on the water’s surface while lotus (Nelumbo species) leaves and flowers are emergent or rise above the water’s surface. There is one exception: tropical water lilies’ leaves float on the surface just like hardy lilies but their flowers rise above the surface of the water by about 6-8 inches.

A standard lotus will eventually grow to have its leaves and flowers 4-6 ft. above the water, maybe less in a container where their size is more controlled. Dwarf varieties will be just a few inches above the water.

Water Lily is harder than Lotus which means that it is more widespread. In addition, the leaves of the first have a cut from the edge to the center, while the leaves of the second have no cut. Water Lily seeds ripen underwater and Lotus seeds over water.

Lotus plants will also need more fertilizer than water lilies.
The next noticeable difference between the flowers in the center. The water lily has the typical center of most flowers, that is, the pistil and stamens are placed there. At the same time, the lotus has an androecial ring in the middle of the flower, which looks quite unusual and gives some decorative value.

Since the water lily is a genus of plants, it includes many species. The flowers of some species are very similar to lotus flowers and some are less similar.

Ecological and Economic Importance.

Their abundance provides important benefits to the ecosystem. They create food and shelter for both aquatic and non-aquatic wildlife. Lily pads provide important food sources for beaver, certain species of beetles, and pollinators as well as providing shelter for fish.
Species in the water lily family are important components of the plant communities of most freshwater lakes, ponds, and other shallow-water habitats. They provide food for many types of herbivorous animals, and a habitat substrate for others.

Species of water lilies provide a beautiful aesthetic to aquatic habitats, which is greatly appreciated by many people. The sacred lotuses (Nelumbo nucifera and N. nelumbo) are especially important in this regard in a number of cultures. This is particularly true in India, China, Japan, and elsewhere in Asia, where sacred lotuses are featured prominently in horticultural plantings in many gardens and parks, in paintings and other visual arts, in architectural motifs and decorations, and as symbolism in literature.

Another minor use of some species is in the production of food for fishes grown in tropical aquaculture. Water lilies growing in commercial fish ponds are eaten as food by certain herbivorous fish, and thereby contribute to the productivity of the agricultural ecosystem.

Water lily as Food and Medicine:

From the ancient times, water lily is not only a material for decoration but also it is widely used as a food material. Again it has a great medicinal value fulfilling some nutritional demands.
Many Africans cultivate water lilies for food. The tuber of water lily is cooked and eaten as a vegetable in many countries and is even used in salads. It is used as a herbal remedy. Many people eat water lily stems with coconut and it is very tasty.

Nutritional value of Water lily.

Water lily contains a lot of calcium. Each 100 grams of shuffler vine contains

Minerals – 1.3 grams
Contains fiber – 1.1 grams
Contains calories-protein – 3.1 grams
Contains sugar – 31.6 grams
Contains calcium – 8 mg
Water lily also contains Vitamin C, Vitamin-B1, Vitamin-B6, Phosphorus.

Medicinal properties.

At one time in rural areas different parts of water lily tree were used for treatment of various diseases. Its dried flower powder is beneficial in cold and tanning. Water lily flowers are used to treat cholera, fever and liver diseases. The seeds cure various skin diseases and even leprosy. Playing stalks or nals stops bleeding from the stomach. However, the most beneficial is tubers or root. Hemorrhoids, indigestion, spermatogenesis, etc. are very useful in curing diseases.

The benefits of Water Lily for health.

Effectiveness of water lily flower to keep cool.

Water lily contains flavonol glycosides. Which helps to keep the blood circulation in the head normal and it cools the head. So those who have frequent headaches can eat shapla to keep their head cool.

Effectiveness of water lily flower for heart disease.

Water lily is effective in reducing the risk of heart disease. Those who are suffering from heart problems can eat Water lily. It Increases heart function.

Reduces blood sugar levels.

Elevated blood sugar can lead to a variety of complications, including diabetes. Shuffler is effective in controlling blood sugar and insulin levels.

Keeps the liver well.

The liver is an important organ in the human body. The liver performs a variety of physiological functions. Stores iron and glycogen. It also works by removing toxins from the body.
So, it is very important to maintain the health of the liver. Plays a role in preventing liver damage.

Eliminates digestive problems.

Those who have digestive problems can eat water lilies. It also plays an effective role for those who have problems with diarrhea or flatulence.

Effectiveness of water lily in skin health.

Water lily is very effective for those who have dry skin.

  • It moisturizes the skin.

  • Helps to brighten the skin.

  • It keeps the skin clean.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Water lily.

1. What is Shapla flower?

Answer: Water Lily (shapla) an aquatic plant of the genus Nymphaea which has large, disk-like, floating leaves and showy flowers. There are about 50 species growing in different countries.

2. What is water lily called in Bangladesh?

Answer: Water lily is commonly known as Shapla in Bangladesh.

3. What Color are water lilies?

Answer: Generally, in Bangladesh, the color of water lily is White. Hardy water lilies come in shades of yellow, pinks, reds, pastel orange, and white. Some water lilies are called “changeable.” These flowers change their color as the bloom progresses, changing from any variation of pastel colors.

4. Do water lilies need soil?

Answer: Generally, in Bangladesh, water lily grows automatically during the rainy season in stagnant water. In this case, soil doesn’t matter so much. But for cultivation, Loam or a clay-loam soil is best for potting up your water lilies. And don’t over complicate it: for most of us it means digging some soil from our gardens vs. reaching for a bag of potting soil.

5. What does water lily symbolize?

Answer: Water lily – Symbolize pleasure and peace
The Nymphaea waterlilies perfectly symbolize innocence, purity, fertility, pleasure, celebration, hope, rebirth, wellness, and peace. All ancient cultures around the world have associated the white lilies with gods and spirituality.

6. What does water lily symbolize in Bangladesh?

Answer: Above the water lily are four stars and three connected jute leaves. The water lily is the country’s national flower, and is representative of the many rivers that run through Bangladesh.

7. What is the National flower of Sri Lanka?

Answer: Blue water lily is the national flower of Sri Lanka.

8. Is water lily eatable?

Answer: Yes. It is being used as a food since the ancient times. And it has a great nutritional value.

9. Is water lily and lotus same?

Answer: No. There is some little difference between water lily and lotus. In physical appearance, water lily is white, while lotus is red in color.

10. Is there any medicinal value of water lilies?

Answer: Yes. The bulb and root are used to make medicine. People take American white water lily to treat ongoing (chronic) diarrhea. American white water lily is sometimes applied directly to the affected area for vaginal conditions, diseases of the throat and mouth, and as a warm compress (poultice) for burns and boils.

Nakshi Kantha.

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