Water lilies and other aquatic plants are very important to the health of lakes, ponds, and wetlands. Under the water flexible stalks reach down to a thick stem, this provides excellent habitat for many different types of invertebrates and aquatic insects which in turn become food for many different types of reptiles, amphibians, and waterfowl. The leaves are great hiding places for frogs, turtles, crayfish and other wildlife and also make a nice perch for hunting dragonflies. Even after they die the plants decompose and become food for many of the aquatic invertebrates. I took this photograph at Wild River State Park.