* Leaves round, plate-like, floating, with a thick waxy covering, green
above and purplish beneath, 8-14" wide.
* Flowers white, with many whorled petals
tapering toward the edges and growing smaller near the center of the
flower, very fragrant, 3-5" across.
* Flowers June - September.
* Habitat: Ponds and quiet waters. At Wellesley, they're found in Paramecium
Pond and near the shore of Lake Waban.
* Range: Southeastern Canada and eastern United States.
* Water lilies can grow in water as shallow as six inches and as deep
as fifteen feet.
* Beneath the leaf is a hollow stem that anchors the lily to
its roots at the bottom of the pond or lake. The stem brings
gases from the water's surface to the rhizomes and roots, and
also conveys waste gases to the surface.
* The flowers open and close each day for several days until
they are pollinated. Once pollination occurs, the underwater
stem curls like a spring and pulls the blossom underwater, presumably
to protect it from damage.
* Claude Monet is perhaps most well known for his paintings
of water lilies.