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Water lilies, the stunning aquatic plant, the offers stunning splashes of beauty in the water, were one of the first natural beauties to be noticed by man. Evolution has found favor with this plant, creating quick development over time. Tropical Water lily remains have been found, and feature a similar composition to those found today. Here is a brief historical account of the lily, and its role in gardening.

The Beginning:
The earliest writing of art describes the water lily as a member of the botanical family. It has a confusing family tree, made by many early anatomist, horticulturalist, and botanist, who changed the tree to suit their own bias.

The basic linage, however, is obvious. Of the four great divisions in the vegetable kingdom, water lilies fall under the largest, the Spermatophyta.  This is the flowering plant category, and in this they fall into a specific subdivision, the Angiospermae, meaning they reproduce through seeds fertilized in a closed ovary.

Of the two classes of the sundivision, water lilies are part of the dicotyledoneae class, meaning that seeds are fel through two leaflike appendages, called cotyledons. Within this subclass, they are referred to in the archichlamydeae, which means they are flowering plants whose petals form separately. They then move to the order of Ranales, which is a classification based on the petals placement on the stem. Other plants in this order are buttercups and magnolias. These resemble the water lily structurally.

Family, Genus, Sections:
The family for this plant is the Ranales, within this family is the genus Nymphaeaceae, or the Water lily family. This would encompass almost all of the flowering aquatic plants referred to as water lily or lotus. Not all flowering aquatic plants are referred to as water lilies. The Nuphar, an inferior genius, includes cow lilies, spatter docks, and yellow pond lilies. The Victoria genus is the most regal and dramatic of all water flowers. The Nelumbo is from where the Lotus comes from, and finally Hardies are another popular variety of water lilies.

Modern times:
Water lily history has become much clearer over the last one hundred years. The water lily was discovered in the deep lagoons of the South American Jungle. The natives had a variety of names for this wondrous plant, such as Yrupe, Irupe, Marura, and Morinqua. Yrupe literally translate to water platter, the most suitable. It featured a deep purple leaf, with a veined underside that floated on the surface of the water, at about eight feet wide. The edges of leaves were turned upwards creating two water tights rims!

The flowers would open at dusk, and remain open until sunrise. When they open they release a delicious and far reaching fragrance, similar to crushed pineapple. The flowers change their color as well. The bud is a creamy white when it opens slowly transforming to a soft pink, and turning deeper and deeper into the bloom reaches a purplish-reddish hue. Strong sharp spines protect the pod-like fruit and stem, which natives believed to be poisonous. A few hardy bushman captured the fruit, and found the seeds to be a delicacy, calling it water maize (water corn).

Water Lily Popularity:
These stunning flowers make wonderful accessories for garden ponds. Often, water lily pools are used as a focal point for an outdoor living space. Aquatic Accessories often are used, along with goldfish, to dress up pools that are made from concrete, adding charm and style. If you seek to create a water lily pond, research and seek out advice as to the type of pool design that is best for you. Professional will also be able to give you advice concerning pool care, pest control, lily winter care, planting your pool, and curing, as well as give you an idea of the “best of the best” when it comes to water lilies.