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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Nymphaea - Water Lilies at the University of Bristol Botanical Gardens

One of the things that I really liked about the University of Bristol Botanical Gardens were the water lilies. There are two water features. The first and biggest it the big pond near the entrance and the second is a raised concrete pond near the Mediterranean plants.

It is not difficult to understand Monet's fascination for water lilies. There is just something about water lilies that just captivates people. Maybe it is the combination of the stunning colours and delicate beauty together with the way most of the time they are out of reach so the only way to appreciate them is to stand as close to the water edge as possible and devour them with your eyes.

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Genus Name: Nymphaea
Common names: Water lilies (English) ;

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida
Superorder: Nymphaeanae
Order: Nypmhaeales
Family: Nymphaceae – Water lilies (English)
Genus: Nymphaea – 
Species: Nymphaea alba – European White Water lily, White Water lily (English)
Species: Nymphaea odorata  – American Water lily, American White Water lily, WhiteWater lily (English)
Species: Nymphaea mexicana – Yellow Water lily, Banana Water lily (English)
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [June 15 2014], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database,

On-line sources:

  • Royal Horticultural Society: Entry for Water lilies
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database: Entry for Nymphaea
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Water Lilies
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Nymphaeaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Water Lilies

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