Water lilies (Nymphaea) and Lotus (Nelumbo) are jewels of the aquatic world. Symbolic in both the ancient and modern world, they are celebrated for their beauty and immortalized in art and religion. Both are pond blooming plants that emerge from rhizomes and share a rich color palette, but there are some easy ways to tell them apart:
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. Lily flowers last longer, up to two weeks, then wilt and fall beneath the water; the lotus has a significant seed pod that continues to grow above the water after the inflorescence has passed.
June 5th, 2021
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