Tiger Lotus, Nymphaea lotus

The Nymphaea lotus is an aquatic flowering plant. The species may also be referred to as the Tiger lotus, the White lotus or the Egyptian white water-lily. This plant is a member of the Nymphaeaceae family. N. lotus grows throughout East Africa and Southeast Asia.

Nymphaea lotus roots itself at the pond or stream bottom, while its leaves are found floating at the water’s surface. Its flowers bloom above the water typically opening up during the day and closing up at night. Flowers are typically white; however some may appear to be tinted with a pink hue. N. lotus prefers the clear, slightly acidic waters in still ponds. Commonly the water is warm and the plant is surrounded by other aquatic plant species.

Nymphaea lotus has various uses. It has been found as decoration in freshwater aquariums, as a symbol of innocence and modesty to ancient Egyptian civilizations, parts of the plant can be used to make flour and seeds and fruits may be consumed. It is said the plant has a psychedelic aphrodisiac effect but there are other Nymphaea species that these properties would be stronger.

Image Caption: Tiger lotus (Nymphaea lotus). Credit: xmatt/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)