Nymphaea lotus L.

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Nymphaea lotus

Photo: Karl van Laeren
In a deep pool of the southern bank of the Chobe river, Botswana

Nymphaea lotus

Photo: Leith Woodall
Panhandle Okavango

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Common names:
Status: Native
Robust aquatic herb. Leaves ± circular, cordate, somewhat peltate; margin wavy, dentate with mucronate teeth, the teeth formed by the convergence at the margin of 3 nerves; upper surface smooth; lower surface prominently veined. Flowers white or cream, 10-18 cm in diameter; peduncle stout. Sepals 4, ovate-oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 5-9 cm long. Petals c. 20. Stamens 40-60, not prolonged beyond the anthers by an appendage. Fruit 4-6 cm in diameter, spherical.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In rivers, lakes and pools.
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in the tropics and subtropics of the Old World.
Botswana distribution: N
Growth form(s): Aquatic.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 6 January 2014

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 99. (Includes a picture).

Linley, K. & Baker, B. (1972). Flowers of the Veld Bundu Series Longman Zimbabwe Page 35.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 64.

Mendonça, F.A. (1960). Nymphaeaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(1) Page 176.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 85. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 89.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 220.

Other sources of information about Nymphaea lotus:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Nymphaea lotus
Flora of Malawi: Nymphaea lotus
Flora of Mozambique: Nymphaea lotus
Flora of Zambia: Nymphaea lotus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Nymphaea lotus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Nymphaea lotus
African Plant Database: Nymphaea lotus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Nymphaea lotus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Nymphaea lotus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Nymphaea lotus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Nymphaea lotus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Nymphaea lotus
JSTOR Plant Science: Nymphaea lotus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Nymphaea lotus
Plants of the World Online: Nymphaea lotus
Tropicos: Nymphaea lotus
Wikipedia: Nymphaea lotus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Nymphaea lotus.
https://www.botswanaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=123440, retrieved 1 June 2023

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