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Day waterlily (Blue Waterlily)

Waterlelie - Day waterlily (Blue Waterlily)
Back Waterlelie puntje Day waterlily (Blue waterlily)
Nymphaea Nouchali = N. capensis

Ntsweni River, near Nwanetsi Camp, Kruger National Park

The Day waterlily (Blue waterlily) is an aquatic plant, widespread in South Africa in lakes, pans, dams and pools and in slow-flowing rivers. Of the 60 species of Waterlilies, only this species is native to South Africa.

The large flowers are carried on long stalks just above the surface of the water. They may be white, yellow, blue or pink in colour, They open only in sunshine, close at night and re-open the following morning, hence their name. They have many pointed petals and are also scented.

The plant's underground stems are anchored to the mud under water by means of rather thick, spreading roots. The rhizome (underground stem) is 4 - 5 cm in diameter, black in colour and spongy.

The round, floating leaves are split by a V-notch from the center to the outer edge.

Flowers, after being pollinated by bees or beetles, are drawn back under water where the seeds ripen. The seeds then float and are dispersed by water currents, until they sink into the mud, where they germinate.

puntje Vincent Carruthers (ed.) - The Wildlife of Southern Africa. Struik Publ. ISBN 1-86872-451-4

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