The water lily is an amazingly beautiful flower that can often be seen on Russian rivers. However, the habitat of water lilies is by no means limited to Russia alone - these plants are widespread, and there are many different species. Water lilies are notable for the fact that their leaves always float on the surface of the water, as well as, in fact, their flowers. That is why water lilies are considered so romantic.
In total, there are about fifty species of water lilies in the world, and only seven species grow in Russia, despite the fact that many consider the water lily to be a purely "Slavic" flower.
Water lilies are often confused with egg capsules - other flowers whose leaves also float on the surface. However, the flowers of the egg capsules are yellow.
The powerful root system of the water lily is hidden under the bottom. Its roots are rich in starch, and in some places they are still used as raw materials for the manufacture of starch flour.
Roasted water lily seeds are used to make a drink that tastes like coffee.
Water lilies prefer to grow where the current is not too strong. However, they are found in most Russian rivers.
The water lily was first explored only in the 19th century.
Preferring shallow water, water lilies, however, can grow to a depth of three to four meters.
In fact, only water lily leaves lie on the surface of the water - the flowers are raised above it, it's just difficult to notice it from the shore.
The white water lily is listed in the Red Book.
Numerous Slavic legends associate water lilies with mermaids. There is an analogy here with the Greeks, who called water lilies the word "nymph".
The flowers of a large water lily open at sunset, and close to dawn they close again and hide under water. In the event of an approaching rain or strong wind, they also hide.
The yellow water lily is widely used in traditional medicine.
The leaves and flowers of white water lilies are coated with a substance that repels any dirt, so they never get dirty. On their basis, paints with similar properties have been developed.
Water lilies are among the most ancient flowering plants on our planet.