Water lilies are actually not lilies at all? Water lilies are members of the Nymphaeaceae family while lilies are a member of the Liliaceae family. The water lily blossom and the lily pads are usually the only visible portions of the waterlily plant, however water lilies have a series of stalks which connect the flower and leaves floating on the top of the water with the root system which is anchored in the soil at the bottom of the lake, pond or other wetland. There are about 70 species of water lilies in the world and they are broken into two classifications, hardy waterlilies, which are found in temperate climates, and tropical water lilies, which are found in warmer areas. Hardy waterlilies bloom only during the day where tropical waterlilies can bloom during the day or at night. All wild water lilies in Minnesota would be hardy water lilies including this one that I photographed at Cam Ripley in central Minnesota.