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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waterlilies

The water lily family, Nymphaeaceae, is an old and evolutionarily primitive one, and is grouped with buttercups (Ranunculus) and magnolias in the order Ranales. Furthermore, fossil evidence suggests that nymphaeas have not changed much over the past 160 million years. All they have done is move about the globe, keeping in the tropical and temperate zones. Another well known genus in this family is Victoria, the giant amazon water lily.
The genus Nymphaea consists of roughly 40 species found in tropical and temperate climates of both hemispheres. It is full of synonymy, because different populations or colour forms have been described as separate species which have since been sunk into one species and in some cases the same plants have been described as different species by different botanists, or the name of one species has been misapplied to another species. It all gets rather confusing. There are also many variants and hundreds of hybrids that come in all colours, shapes and sizes.
There are only two species that occur in southern Africa. One is Nymphaea lotus, the white water lily, or white lotus which has night-blooming white or cream flowers and is widespread in tropical Africa to southern Africa, where it occurs in the former Transvaal, KwaZulu-Natal, Botswana, Swaziland and Namibia, and in Madagascar, in sheltered water 0.5-2.5m deep and in swamps. It also occurs in hot springs in Hungary and Romania. There is a variety in Australia and it is widely cultivated in the USA and South America.
The other southern African species isNymphaea nouchali. The blue lotus, Nymphaea caerulea and the Cape blue water lily, Nymphaea capensis are no longer regarded as distinct species and have been sunk into this genus.
The type specimen was collected in Coromandel in India. The meaning of the specific ephithet nouchali has only been traced with the assistance of staff at Kew who report that one of their specimens contains a note that Noakhali is a district in Bangladesh. The variety name caerulea refers to the sky blue colour of the flowers.

40 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I love water lilies. These are lovely photos with interesting info. Diane

JM said...

Waterlilies make such beautiful ponds! These are lovely but I especially enjoy the bud shot.

Firefly said...

Waterlilies make for interesting photographs, specialy in a natural environment. I need to check up on the spots around here where I know they grow to see if there are any about.

Mary said...

It is always so pretty to see them floating in the water. I didn't realize they were related to Ranunculus and Magnolias...and interesting grouping!

Gaelyn said...

The water lilies are all so beautiful. Haven't seen any in many years. Yet used to enjoy floating next to them in a canoe. Interesting how they are really all one family spread across the world.

If you want that blanket you're going to have to come over here and get it. And you know you're always welcome.

Craig Glenn said...

Beautiful photos Joan! I love water lilies.

Craig Glenn

Zane said...

Are these the edible variety? What is a "waterblommetjie" then? A water flower - seems to be a traditional dish of South Africans - or is it simply cabbage?

Lovely pictures Joan - I have been quiet lately - taking too many photos and learning about my new camera (and looking for a new macro lens).

Becky said...

Beautiful!

Sandy said...

Wow, these are exquisite. I need to stop by more often. Beautiufl.

blog with no name said...

Thanks again for a beautiful lesson Joan! very well written and informative. Beautiful shots as per usual!
I really hope it works out some day to be led around by you in the wilds to see amazing sights! Ever since Gaelyn got back, it's been a dream... some day...

Becky and Gary said...

Beautiful, beautiful colors Joan. I only seem to see white ones around here.
B.

Rambling Woods said...

I would love our pond to be filled with them..but they don't like our weather. People who have vegetation in their small yard ponds have to bring them in for the winter..good info Joan...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Diane. We have a lot of them which only grow in the wild when the summer rain forms pools in some areas.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Jose. I agree, but then I love all flowers. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

They will only start blooming again round about November Jonker. A lot of the municiple buildings have ponds in which they grow so check there or maybe you have a Botanical Garden?

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I must say I was surprised to learn that too Mary but sometimes the classification does not make much sense to us mere mortals. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Well that seems like a good deal to me Gaelyn but I do not think the owners of the lodge will fall for it. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Craig. Nice to hear from you again as always.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Zane. Waterblommetjies are classified as Pond Weed and part of the Aponogetonaceae family and are not realy water lilies.

So what camera did you get? It is always wonderful to get new equipment.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Beck (Florida. Where have you been? It is so nice to hear from you again.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Sandy. SOmetimes my time is so limited too and I do not get to everyones blog as I would like too but hopefully soon I can get back to normal.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are welcome Mike but you make me sound like a school teacher!! LOL!!


That would be wonderful if the two of you come over. Gaelyn and I covered such a small area of this lovely country.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Becky. We do have a few colors here but my favorite is the blue. I need to see if I can get some pictures of it this summer. The ones I have are slides and really awful!! LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It is a good idea to bring them in during the winter but what a task it must be. Here they seem to favor the warmer parts too.

Zane said...

I have a Canon 7D Joan - looking to add that macro lens MP E65 plus some lighting - really take my macro work to new levels!

I am still unsure what the difference between "watercrest", pond scum / weeds is. Will look it up!

The Early Birder said...

Another informative lesson. Thanks Joan and the fabulous blooms. FAB.

SeamusMcDufus Fizgig said...

Smashing pics as usual Joan. FYI, have updated mine again.

Philip said...

Ok so now i am going to ask were did you get all these shots of waterlilies from some of them are not from here, a botanical garden maybe ??
beautiful delicate shots Joan :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

That is the one I would want to get too Zane. I believe it has video too and I wonder how good it would be for macro? Try it and let me know please as I am curious. There are not many video cameras / cameras capable of doing such small stuff.

It is also a waterplant but the flowers are completely different.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are welcome Frank. I find this stuff so interesting.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Sean. I will go and check it out. You really need to get off your butt and post more often. LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

So now you want to know ALL my secrets do you Philip? LOL!! These were all taken here in the pond in front of our City Hall. :)

I am going to spend two weeks in the bush!! You cannot believe how I am looking forward to it!! Jealous? :)

Philip said...

Nope !! because I am going the same time as you late September LoL!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! NOT FAIR!! You have been there a few times already!! :)

I am going around the middle of September and I am really looking forward to this trip. The thing I miss most is being able to walk around, and at night, to lay and listen to the night sounds and I will be able to do both there.

Sandy said...

Had to come back for another look. Would you give me your permission to draw one of those...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Sure Sandy, no problem. If you want me to e-mail you one, just let me know.

A human kind of human said...

They are so beautiful. What is this about spending two weeks in the bush? If that bush is near us, please let me know, so we can get a "kuiertjie" in.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Anna. It is near Hoedspruit, so too far from you but dont wotty, I will soon be visiting you too. :)

Anna said...

Joan I know we have them here too, but I guess due to the weather type, they seems much smaller, and not that frequent. Beautiful pictures. Anna :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Some species which I saw in Mauritius have leaves which are 9 feet in diamiter and a person can actually stand on them. :) The climate does make for vast differences in the growth of things.