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Pakistan | Family List | Nymphaeaceae

2. Nymphaea L., Sp. Pl. 510. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. V, 579. 1754, Hook. f. & Thoms. in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 1:114. 1872, Whitmore in Hara & Williams, Enum. Fl. Pl. Nepal 2: 32. 1979.


Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270.

Nymphaea pubescens

Credit: M. Rafiq

Perennial herbs with creeping rhizomes. Leaves radical with lamina float¬ing on the surface of water, borne on a long stalk, ovate to orbicular, entire, toothed or sinuate-toothed with a cordate or sagittate base. Flowers large, showy, floating or held above the water surface, borne on long pedicels, pedicels and petioles traversed by several longitudinal air cavities. Sepals 4, adnate to the base of. the torus, sometimes indistinguishable from petals. Petals many, of different colours, gradually transforming into stamens. Stamens petaloid, anthers linear and introrse with or without appendages. Carpels many, in one whorl, usually with a sterile appendage on the outside of the stigmatic disc, ovary sunken in fleshy torus, with as many locules as carpels, stigmas many, concave, radiate. Fruit a spongy berry-l ike, usually ripening under water. Seeds many, enclosed in a transparent saccate aril, floating for sometime.

A genus with c. 50 species, almost cosmopolitan, distributed in tropical and temperate regions of the world. Represented in Pakistan by 5 species.

The species of the subgenus Castalia DC. are interfertile. This may account for intermediates and variability of different species particularly in Nymphaea alba L, Nymphaea candida C. Presl and Nymphaea tetragona Georgi complex.

1 Leaves spinous - dentate, ± densely hairy below. Sepals conspicuously white veined. Petals mostly purplish or ± bluish with pinkish tinge   2 Nymphaea pubescens
+ Leaves not spinous-dentate, glabrous. Sepls obscurely veined. Petals mostly white   (2)
2 (1) Anthers with 5-6 mm long appendages   1 Nymphaea nouchalii
+ Anthers without appendages or appendages inconspicuous   (3)
3 (2) Leaves and flowers 4-7 cm in diameter. Sepals persistent, coriaceous   5 Nymphaea tetragona
+ Leaves 7-30 cm in diameter. Flowers larger. Sepals deciduous   (4)
4 (3) Stigma almost flat with small hemispheric projection. Filaments of innermost stamens usually as broad as anthers   3 Nymphaea alba
+ Stigma strongly concave with conical central projection. Filaments of innermost stamens lanceolate   4 Nymphaea candida

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


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