The water lily is an amazing flower, which can often be seen on Russian rivers. However, Russia alone does not limit the distribution of water lilies – these plants are widely distributed, and there are many different types. Water-lilies are remarkable because their leaves always float on the surface of the water, as, indeed, their flowers. That is why water lilies are considered so romantic.
In total there are about fifty kinds of water lilies in the world, and in Russia there are only seven species, despite the fact that many consider the water lily as a purely “Slavic” flower.
Water lilies are often confused with egg capsules – other flowers, whose leaves also float on the surface. However, the flowers of egg capsules are yellow.
The powerful root system of the water lily is hidden under the bottom. Its roots are rich in starch, and here and there they are still used as raw materials for making starch flour.
Fried lily seeds are used to make a drink that tastes like coffee.
Water lilies prefer to grow where the flow is not too powerful. Nevertheless, they are found in most Russian rivers.
The water lily was first investigated only in the 19th century.
Preferring shallow water, water lilies, however, can grow to a depth of three to four meters.
In fact, only the leaves of the water lily lie on the surface of the water – the flowers are raised above it, it’s hard to notice from the shore.
The white water lily is listed in the Red Book.
Numerous Slavic legends connect the water-lilies with mermaids. There is an analogy with the Greeks who called the water lilies the word “nymph”.
Flowers of a large water lily open at sunset, and close to dawn again close and hide under water. In case of approaching rain or strong wind, they also hide.
Yellow water lily is widely used in traditional medicine.
The leaves and flowers of white water lilies are covered with a substance that repels any dirt, so they never get dirty. On their basis, paints having similar properties were developed.
Water lilies are one of the most ancient flowering plants on our planet.