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Water lily - an annual or short-lived perennial found only in Asia

Baku, May 4, AZERTAC

Water lily, family of 58 species in 3 genera of freshwater flowering plants, native to the temperate and tropical parts of the world.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, water lilies provide food for fish and wildlife but sometimes cause drainage problems because of their rapid growth.

Many varieties have been developed for ornamental use in garden pools and conservatories. Closely related genera, of the family Cobombaceae, are the water shields and the fanworts.

Most species of water lilies have rounded, variously notched, waxy-coated leaves on long stalks that contain many air spaces and float in quiet freshwater habitats. The stalks arise from thick, fleshy, creeping underwater stems that are buried in the mud. The showy, fragrant, solitary flowers are borne at or above the water surface on long stalks that are attached to the underground stems. Each cuplike flower has a spiral arrangement of its numerous petals.

The flowers of most species have many stamens (male reproductive structures). Some flowers open only in the morning or in the evening to attract insect pollinators. The fruit is usually nutlike or berrylike. Some fruits ripen underwater until they rupture or decay, and the seeds then float away or sink. Some water lilies also have submerged leaves. All members of the family are perennial except for the genus Euryale, an annual or short-lived perennial found only in Asia.

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