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African Water Lilies


Despite their name, water lilies are not related to the true lilies (family Liliaceae). The name “lily” is applied to a number of plants that are not at all closely related, such as day lilies, spider lilies and arum lilies and, case in point, water lilies.

The White Water Lily, or Nymphaea lotus, is also known as the  Tiger Lotus or the White lotus.  It is a flowering plant of the family Nymphaeaceae.

In Egypt this beautiful flower was worshiped as a symbol of creation and it is now the national flower of Egypt.  In Ancient Greece, it was a symbol of innocence and modesty.  The flower is also depicted on many of the seals of the different Provinces in Thailand.

The delicate white flower brightened the waters of the Okavango Delta.  I was there during the winter, in Botswana’s dry season, so this stood out as one of the few flowers around at that time of year.



The delicate flower contrasts strongly with the large lily pads.  Whilst the flower can be used to make a necklace, the lily leaf is more functional.  Emergency sunhat anyone?


Linked to Festival of Flowers, Floral Friday FotosFloral Love and Today’s Flowers.

13 replies »

  1. Beautiful captures! Thanks so much for sharing and participating. Also, I’m sorry I didn’t participate in your challenge this week. The week got away from me. I hope to be able to participate next week. 😀


  2. (Possible) fun fact: in Botswana the roots of the lily flower are a highly prized delicacy — not only by people, who harvest them in the dry season and take them to the capital to be sold, but also by the baboons. They’ll sit for hours in the dry floodplains digging for lily roots to eat.


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