Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today's Flowers #53: Water Lilly

Strictly speaking, water lilly consists of two types of aquatic plants: Nelumbo (荷花) and Nymphaea (蓮花). Commonly, Nelumbo is called lotus and Nymphaea is called water lilly. The flowers that are showed at the cover page of Today's Flower #53 are Nelumbo (lotus) and the flower in the above picture is Nymphaea (water lilly).

It is as confusing in Chinese for both flowers as in English. The seeds and roots of lotus are delicacies in Asian cousine. However, they are not called Nelumbo seeds or Nelumbo roots, but, instead, they are called Nymphaea seeds (蓮子) and Nymphaea roots (蓮藕) in Chinese. Same thing happens in the religion of buddhism, the buddha is often referred to sitting on a Nymphaea, but in actuality, he is sitting on a Nelumbo.

Nelumbo and Nymphaea are two very different plants. The easiest way to differentiate them are through their leaves. The leaves of Nelumbo (lotus) stand above the water and their stems go into the middle of the leaves. The leaves of Nymphaea (water lilly) float on the water and their stems connecting to the leaves on the side. Confusing enough?

Both flowers are considered as noble flowers in Chinese culture. They grow up from the mud but keep themselves so clean and pure.

To see more flowers from around the world click here.

22 comments:

Cezar and Léia said...

ohmigod, what a fabulous shot! I came from Camera critters but I could not resist to leave a comment here in this post because it's really beautiful!
Cool blog!
Luna

pra said...

Very informative post with the beautiful picture!

i beati said...

these liies today are so enchanting

Denise said...

Your flowers are stunning, as are the ones on the home page. Thank you so much for sharing these beauties.

Sara Chapman said...

Congratulations on being Guest Friend on Today's flowers. Truly lovely photos. And your text is so interesting and informative! Thank you.

i beati said...

It always looks like its poppoing its cork !!sansdy

Ebie said...

Congratulations for being the guest friend today! A very informative post. I love water lilies and this is my Chinese name 美莲.
My main blog is here.

Titania said...

Great shots of a Lotus flower. I have one growing in my pond, love the pretty seed pods as well. It is a lovely contribution to TF.
(threemonkeys)

Euroangel said...

lovely flower here..nicely taken..congrats for being a guest friend..
Euroangel Graffiti
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Elaine said...

These shots are lovely! What an informative post....and I love the fact that these are "noble" flowers according to the Chinese, because they grow up from the mud yet keep themselves clean and pure.
I will always think of this now whenever I see these awesome flowers!

Rosamaria said...

Very interesting explanation about Nelumbo and Nymphaea! I didn't know.

Congratulations on being Guest Friend on Today's flowers!

Good week for you!

Pat - Arkansas said...

Beautiful water lily, and very interesting information. Your photos on the home page of Today's Flowers are beautiful also; congratulations on being the Guest Friend for today.

Judy said...

What a beautiful colour in this flower!! And the shape, too! I loved the photo on the cover page of Today's Flowers, and wondered what it was, so now I know. Likely I will continue to get them mixed up, but at least now I know I am doing it!

Arija said...

When I left you my first comment you had not yet put up your Nymphea yet. Both posts are beautifully presented. The shot of the golden ripening Lotus seed pod is even more stunning than the one with the green pod showing.

Joanna said...

Very beautiful images and your post was so informative.

Regina said...

So pretty.

Luiz Santilli Jr said...

Hi my friends G&B

Wonderful post for TODAY'S FLOWERS!
Have a nice week,

Luiz

Martin said...

Before this post...I always think they are the same plant

Sistertex said...

Beautiful flower, fantastic shot! Love it.

Nature et Paysages de France said...

Magnifiques photos! les couleurs sont sublimes.

Véronique et Yannis said...

je trouve ces photos très belles!

~Visions~ said...

Beautiful shots of such delicate flowers. I love the symbolism of such beauty growing from simple mud.

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