Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Look Below the Surface of the Water Lily

When people look at water lilies they are frequently amazed by the beauty of the flower but there is much more to water lilies then just the bloom. Water lilies have an amazing means of reproduction. What we often do not see is a system of rhizomes creeping under the water. These rhizomes can grow very large, getting air from the hollow leaf stems and sprouting new plants.
Water lilies can also spread by pollination. When the lily flower blossoms it fills with fluid. Insects that come to the blossom in search of pollen or nectar are forced into the liquid by the special design of the petals. Any pollen that is on the insect is dissolved in the liquid and used to fertilize the plant. Once the flower is pollinated it will release its pollen and then sink down under the water. Underwater the flower will develop into a spongy berry that contains many seeds. When the fruit ripens it releases up to about 2000 seeds which float away on the current or are eaten by birds or animals. Eventually the seeds absorb enough water that they sink down into the muddy bottom where they germinate and begin a new life.

10 comments:

Carolyn Ford said...

Ah...so beautiful. If there are water lilies, then, it must be a great place to spend some time!

JOE TODD said...

I will soon be fishing among the water lilies.. Good post

2sweetnsaxy said...

They kind of look like fat duck feet. :-D I really like the shadows they create beneath the surface of the water in the 2nd shot.

ewok1993 said...

i learn something new every day. thanks for the info and the neat images.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Very beautiful and very interesting blog post. I like it when I learn something new~

Judy said...

I had never thought about how waterlilies spread! It is fascinating!

ksdoolittle said...

How about that!!! This I did not know! ~karen

Kass said...

Beautiful photo and great information!

Mike B. said...

Good info. I have some in a patio pond I built- too bad there's nowhere for them to spread...

Poetic Shutterbug said...

It's wonderful to learn all of this information. Thanks for the post and the photos, as always, beautiful.