The Striking White Water Lily – A Symbol of Beauty
Few people would deny the beauty of the humble water lily. These stunning flowering plants have been used in worship and as symbols of life and love. They may be different sizes and slightly different shapes, but they all have one thing in common – undeniable beauty. Little wonder then, that the humble water lily has long been the national flower of Bangladesh.
The national flower of Bangladesh is the White Water Lily. The plant falls under the botanical family Nymphaeaceae. This is appropriate when you consider what the word ‘Nymph’ was used to describe beautiful, female personifications of the various activities of nature in ancient Greek mythology. Surely few can argue that the beautiful water lily is not an appropriate symbol of the life that is so readily found in water. Appropriately, the white water lily is also seen as being the birth flower for the month of July.
But how do these precious flowers grow? Notably, water lilies only grow where the water is somewhat shallow. If you look below the surface of the water, you will find that they are firmly rooted in the soil that is found on the bottom surface of the water – however much or little there is. Their stalks then travel up to the surface where they branch out into a variety of leaves and flowers which float easily and absorb sunlight more readily. The leaves of the water lily are round in shape, though they may have a radial notch or be completely circular depending on their particular variety. Some water lilies are particularly fragrant while others have barely any smell at all. Water lilies may be either hardy or tropical – with hardy lilies blooming only during the day and tropical ones blooming day or night. It is interesting to note that blue-flowered lilies are strictly tropical.
The humble water lily is also surprisingly hardy. While the flowers themselves may be somewhat seasonal, their seeds can last for as long as 2000 years! They can also be encouraged to grow in virtually any corner of the globe – as long as the conditions are appropriate for the flower. So the next time you see a white water lily, think of Dhaka or the rest of Bangladesh. A more appropriate symbol of beauty through turmoil could not exist.