Water lilies are one of the oldest aquatic plants on earth as evidenced by European pre-ice age cave drawings featuring early forms of water lilies.
Over the past hundred years, we have learned more about the water lily as it began when a man discovered large & fragrant flower in the fresh water lagoons of the South American jungles. . Floating on the surface of the water, their large leaves provided providing a resting place for the local frog population.
The large round or oval leaves are up to a foot in diameter, shiny green on top with redish-purple undertones.
Water lilies, native to ponds and quiet waters in the northeaster United States and Canada, blossom from spring to summer, floating above the water. The flowers open as the sun rises and are usually closed by noon. The leaf stalk is soft and spongy. There are about forty specie, each opens and closes at a specific time of day in one to seven days, successively. The flower then sinks into the water where the seed ripens.
On June 26, 1852 Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal about the water lily. Here’s an excerpt:
“… A superb flower, our lotus, queen of the waters. Now is the solstace in still waters. How sweet, innocent, wholesome, it’s fragrance! How pure its white petals, though its root is in the mud!”
The white water lily is the national flower of Bangladesh..
The blue waterlily is the national flower of Sri Lanka. It is also the birth flower for Pisces.
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 shark.