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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Classis: Unassigned
Ordo: Nymphaeales

Familia: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea
Subgenera: N. subg. Anecphya – N. subg. Brachyceras – N. subg. Confluentes – N. subg. Hydrocallis – N. subg. Lotos – N. subg. Nymphaea
Species: N. abhayana – N. alba – N. alexii – N. amazonum – N. ampla – N. atrans – N. belophylla – N. candida – N. carpentariae – N. conardii – N. dimorpha – N. divaricata – N. elegans – N. elleniae – N. gardneriana – N. georginae – N. gigantea – N. glandulifera – N. gracilis – N. guineensis – N. hastifolia – N. heudelotii – N. immutabilis – N. jacobsii – N. jamesoniana – N. kimberleyensis – N. lasiophylla – N. leibergii – N. lingulata – N. loriana – N. lotus – N. lukei – N. macrosperma – N. maculata – N. malabarica – N. manipurensis – N. mexicana – N. micrantha – N. noelae – N. nouchali – N. novogranatensis – N. odorata – N. ondinea – N. oxypetala – N. potamophila – N. prolifera – N. pubescens – N. pulchella – N. rubra – N. rudgeana – N. siamensis – N. stuhlmannii – N. sulphurea – N. tenuinervia – N. tetragona – N. thermarum – N. vanildae – N. vaporalis – N. violacea
Nothogenera: N. × borealis – N. × daubenyana – N. × rosea – N. × sundvikii – N. × thiona

Nymphaea L. (1753), nom. cons.

Type species: Nymphaea alba L., typ. cons.


Leuconymphaea Kuntze, Rev. Gen. 1: 11. 1891.
Castalia Salisb., Ann. Bot. (König et Sims) 2: 71. 1805.
Nimphaea Neck., Delic. Gallo-Belg. 1: 227. 1768.
Nimphea Nocca, Ann. Bot. (Usteri) 5: 49. 1793.
Nymphea Raf., Med. Repos. 5: 354. 1808.
Ondinea Hartog, Blumea 18: 413. 1970.

Nymphaea X Ortgiesiana Print by Louis Van Houtte

Nymphaea X ortgiesiana, Louis Van Houtte


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 150. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Nymphaea in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Dec. 19. Reference page.
Nymphaea – Taxon details on Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Nymphaea in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07 February 2009.

Vernacular names

العربية: زنبق الماء
مصرى: لوتس
azərbaycanca: Suzanbağı
башҡортса: Аҡ томбойоҡ
беларуская: Гарлачык
български: Водна лилия
Banjar: Talépok
čeština: Leknín
dansk: Nøkkerose
Deutsch: Seerosen
dolnoserbski: Wutka
Ελληνικά: Νούφαρο
English: Waterlily
Esperanto: Nimfeo
español: Nenúfar
eesti: Vesiroos
فارسی: نیلوفر آبی
suomi: Lumpeet
français: Nymphéa
עברית: נימפאה
hornjoserbsce: Bónčawa
magyar: Tündérrózsa
հայերեն: Ջրաշուշան
Bahasa Indonesia: Teratai
italiano: Ninfea
日本語: スイレン属
Jawa: Kembang Teraté
ქართული: დუმფარა
қазақша: Тұңғиық
kurdî: Nîlûfer
lietuvių: Vandens lelija
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကြာ
norsk bokmål: Hvite nøkkeroser
Nederlands: Waterlelie
ирон: Дурындзæг
polski: Grzybienie
русский: Кувшинка
slovenčina: Lekno
српски / srpski: Локвањ
Seeltersk: Poapske
Sunda: Taraté
svenska: Näckrossläktet
తెలుగు: నింఫియా
ไทย: สกุลบัวสาย
lea faka-Tonga: Lilevai
українська: Латаття
Tiếng Việt: Chi Súng
中文: 睡莲属


Nymphaea Gladstoniana, Nymphaea Red Cup, Nymphaea Joey Tomocik,

Nymphaea (pronounced /nɪmˈfiː.ə/) is a genus of aquatic plants in the family Nymphaeaceae. There are about 50 species in the genus, which has a cosmopolitan distribution.


The common name, shared with some other genera in the same family, is Water Lily.

The name Nymphaea comes from the Greek term "Νυμφαία", possibly related to "Νύμφη" meaning "nymph". The nymphs in Greek mythology were supernatural feminine beings associated with springs, so the application of the name to delicately flowered aquatic plants is understandable.


Nymphaea leaves have a radial notch from the circumference to the petiole (leaf stem) in the center.


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, in addition to the water lilies. Nymphaea (Egyptian lotuses) are also not related to the Chinese and Indian lotus of genus Nelumbo, which are used in Asian cooking and sacred to Hinduism and Buddhism.

However, the genus Nymphaea is closely related to Nuphar, another genus commonly called "lotus". In Nymphaea, the flower petals are much larger than the sepals, whereas in Nuphar the petals are much smaller than its sepals. The fruit maturation also differs, with Nymphaea fruit sinking below the water level immediately after the flower closes, whereas Nuphar fruit are held above water level to maturity. Both genera share leaves with a radial notch from the circumference to the petiole (leaf stem) in the center.

Cultural significance
Blue lotus symbol (Nymphaea caerulea) among other ancient Egyptian symbols on an 18th Dynasty jar. Found at Amarna in the 19th century.

The ancient Egyptians revered the Nile water-lilies, or lotuses as they were also called. The lotus motif is a frequent feature of temple column architecture.

The Egyptian Blue Water-lily, N. caerulea, opens its flowers in the morning and then sinks beneath the water at dusk, while the Egyptian White Water-lily, N. lotus, flowers at night and closes in the morning. This symbolizes the Egyptian separation of deities and is a motif associated with Egyptian beliefs concerning death and the afterlife. The recent discovery of psychedelic properties of the blue lotus may also have been known to the Egyptians and explain its ceremonial role. Remains of both flowers have been found in the burial tomb of Ramesses II.

A syrian terra-cotta plaque from the 14th-13th century B.C.E. shows the goddess Asherah holding two lotus blossoms. An ivory panel from the 9th-8th century B.C.E. shows the god Horus seated on a lotus blossom, flanked by two Cherubs.[1]

The French painter Claude Monet is famous for his paintings of water lilies.


Many of the water-lilies familiar in water gardening are hybrids.


Subdivisions of genus Nymphaea:[2]




Nymphaea Chamaenymphaea
Nymphaea Nymphaea
Nymphaea Xanthantha


1. ^ William G. Dever; Did God have a Wife? Archeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel; page 221, 279.
2. ^ Subdivisions of genus Nymphaea

* Perry D. Slocum: Waterlilies and Lotuses. Timber Press 2005, ISBN 0881926841 (restricted online version at Google Books)

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