12 Facts About Water Lilies

These majestic water-dwellers have colorful flowers and pretty leaves, but there's so much more to them than you may know.

Water lilies, belonging to the genus Nymphaea, are among the most enchanting aquatic plants commonly found adorning the surface of the waters in a range of colors.

These enchanting blooms possess a delicate beauty that draws us in and can transform any body of water into a picturesque oasis.

Let's dive in and explore the lesser-known aspects of water lilies!


Water lilies float because of air pockets within their stems and lily pads (leaves).
They still have roots, of course, which are connected to their leaves by long creeping stems.

Aside from white, water lily flowers can appear in pink, red, orange, yellow, purple, and blue.
Water lily pads can also be green or red, although this changes depending on the temperature rather than species.

Water lilies bloom from May through September, putting July smack in the middle of the prime season. In frost-free regions, water lilies bloom year-round.
It's no wonder these bright blooms are linked to July because they're mainly a summer flower.

Also read: 22 Interesting Facts about July
Also read: 12 Facts About Larkspurs

Not all water-floating plants are water lilies, as some are lotuses.
An easy way to tell them apart is by looking at their flowers; water lilies have pointed petals, while lotus flower petals are more rounded.

The largest water lily species belong to the genus Victoria, named after Queen Victoria of Britain.
The largest species is the Bolivian water lily (Victoria boliviana), whose leaves can grow up to 9.8 feet (3 meters) wide!

The seeds of water lilies can be popped like popcorn, and some even claim they make a great alternative to potato chips, especially since they're low in calories and gluten-free.

Water lilies like shallow or slightly deep waters, like ponds and lakes.
You won't ever see them growing in rivers or oceans since they're freshwater plants and prefer still or slow-moving bodies of water.

Frogs love to sit on water lilies for a couple of reasons: they provide a great perch to hunt from, but they also sink below water under their weight, allowing the frogs to stay hydrated!

Water lilies can help reduce excessive algae buildup in ponds. This is because they provide a lot of shade to the water, and algae thrive in sunny conditions.

Water lilies symbolize resurrection within Hinduism and Buddhism, as their flowers open in the morning and close at night.
Additionally, Buddhists associate them with enlightenment as they grow from the muddy waterbed.

Bangladesh's national flower, the white water lily, is also featured in its national emblem.

The impressionist painter Claude Monet often used water lilies as a subject. In fact, he painted more than 250 pieces that featured this aquatic plant, and several of them are among his most famous works of art.

Britannica - Water Lily / Wikipedia - National emblem of Bangladesh / Gardening Know How / Newsweek / Utah State University / Aquascape / New York Botanical Garden / Wikipedia - Victoria (plant) / Mom.com / National Park Service / vdvelde.com / Better Homes & Gardens / The Fact Site