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Water lily, in 50 species, one more beautiful than the other, this aquatic plant exists. It is, to contradict those who think that what is beautiful is always unfortunately rare, the Water lily it is also one of the most widespread plants in most of the Northern Hemisphere, some types are even "made in Europe".
It can be cultivated without too much difficulty, but it is found in the wild in most of the waterways of our continent. In many of its varieties, surprising us with the particularly large flowers of the hybrid species. It seems like a dream, then, the Water lily: it has a beautiful flowering and boasts great adaptability, it is also very common in the spontaneous state and is easy to grow. The only trick is not to overdo it: we choose a variety suitable in size for the depth of the reservoir we have available.
For all information: growing water lilies
Water lily: plant
These floating aquatic plants are totally submerged or almost, the flower emerges, the leaves caress the water, the rest is the surface of the basin in which it is located and a portion of the roots sinks into the seabed, whether it is that of quiet streams, of small lakes or rivers.
The cone-shaped stem is as long as the water is deep, to connect the roots to the surface where the leaves and the flower then develop. If the drum of the Water lily it collapses, has no woody parts and cannot support the flower, and instead has particular cavities to float. At the top of the stem, as soon as it appears in the air, the foliage begins to appear, rolled up on itself and then unrolled and spread out over the water.
The leaves of the water lily they also have considerable dimensions, their diameter is between 25 and 30 cm, so a whole plant can cover up at 120-140 cm of water. Above, each leaf has a thin layer of water-repellent wax, which helps breathing, the lower part, on the other hand, is specially structured to allow the whole to float delicately. I dare say almost magically.
Water lily: flower
They take a little while, i water lily flowers: they are not the first to appear in spring but as the season progresses, trust me, they are issued and they are wonderful. Until autumn we can see them and there are many varieties, it is difficult to choose the best. The shapes change, but also the colors: white, soft pink, fuchsia pink, yellow, salmon, red and even blue varieties.
Each bud, unique, "single", opens at the surface of the water and lasts a few days, opening in the morning and closing in the evening. Once withered, the flowers of the Water lily they sink and become fruits, fruits which in turn, when ripe, detach and sink, passing the winter on the bottom of the basin.
There Water lily it is not a plant that performs an oxygenating function, but it is not beautiful and useless. It shelters fish, tadpoles, frogs and toads, for example, and provides shade by reducing the amount of nitrogen present in the area and hindering the spread of algae.
Water lily: meaning
In Greek mythology the Ninfea is a symbol of unrequited love, of Platonic love, in fact the Greeks attributed anti-aphrodisiac properties to it, the Egyptians often portrayed it to decorate the walls of the tombs of the pharaohs without giving it a particular meaning but more than anything else admiring it in all its beauty. In the East, the Water lily has other meanings: it represents dawn, the arrival of the sun, given that some varieties open when the sun rises and then close again at sunset.
In the Anglo-Saxon world, this flower is called "water lily" and is associated with chastity, purity, and even coldness. Beautiful and loved but also a victim of mistaken identity, or of flower: often the Water lily is called Lotus flower, flower of a very different kind. It always belongs to all aquatic plants but the lotus flower produces large flowers, less double than those of water lilies, often pink. The difference is quite obvious because the Water lily is on the surface of the water while the other flower is completely above it, supported by a rigid and robust stem.
Yellow water lily: properties
With yellow and very fragrant flowers there is the Water lily Amazonum, a lover of warm environments and whose root was used in folk medicine as a soothing agent against diarrhea. In homeopathy this variety of Water lily it also seems to be able to treat male sexual impotence and some forms of headache and headache, states of physical and mental fatigue, moments of lack of memory, occasional confusion.
It is found in the form of gel, paste, cream, ointment, tablets. I can't say if with the same identical effects, but there is also a drink format: in Turkey, the flower is obtained "Pufer" thirst-quenching drink.
White water lily
Very beautiful but that weakens the passion, the white water lily has been appreciated since ancient times and is associated with it anaphrodisiac properties enough to give her the name of "destroyer of pleasure". It is believed that both the flowers and the root have a calming power of sexual activity, popular legends tell that the hermits used them to better endure the abstinence of celibacy.
Without being so specific, it can certainly be said that the White water lily has sedative, anti-inflammatory, emollient and astringent properties, it is in fact indicated as a remedy for cystitis, catarrhal coughs and dysentery. The root, for external use, becomes astringent and emollient great for inflamed skin and small ulcerations of the mouth and throat.
Always white is there Water lily Alba, the common one, with flowers that sprout in summer sometimes surprisingly also pink or burgundy. If we want it on the balcony, we can look for the dwarf variety.
Blue water lily
It is called in scientific jargon Ninfea Caerulea the bluest variety of this wonderful plant and is one of the most spectacular. It also exists in white but blue makes it better if it is grown for ornamental purposes as it almost always happens. It is a species that is also suitable for cultivation in Italy but only in the South. Blu is also the flower of Water lily Starry: it actually exists both blue and burgundy but the peculiar characteristic of this species are the leaves which, instead of being round, have an irregular edge.
Giant water lily
The Giant Nymph, Nynphaea Gigantea, loves being in large ponds adorning them with its flowers, white or blue, and with many petals. Particular, giants I would say, are its leaves. Other varieties are for example the N. Odorata, with very fragrant flowers, the N. Pygmaea Alba, dwarf with small white or pink flowers, and the N. Tuberose. This species is also found in northern Italy and produces very fragrant pink or white flowers.
Water lily: cultivation
After a moment of admiration, and a few minutes of indecision, we can throw ourselves into the cultivation of a water lily plant. Just have a small pond, or choose the balcony dwarfs.
In general, however, it is not an impossible undertaking, on the contrary, they are plants that want to survive and do not require human intervention, do not suffer from the cold and resist even in areas with very harsh winter climates. If we want to make our own water lily bloom, here's where to find the winning indications. "How to grow aquatic plants ".
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