Difference between lotus and water lily

Decorations of ponds - lotus and water lily - look very similar. However, some peculiarities made botanists to attribute these plants to completely different families. Consider the difference between a lotus and a water lily.



The plant is a representative, and the only one, the lotus family. Flower worship is reflected in the cultures of many nations. The lotus symbolizes primordial purity. He is born in troubled waters, but at the same time radiates a touching perfection.

People have found a flower and practical application for a long time. Its seeds were ground into flour, which was used to make tortillas.


Water Lily

The representative of another family - water lilies - is an aquatic plant with large flowers surrounded by heart-shaped leaves. There are many superstitions and legends associated with the water lily. Wreaths made of it were placed on the head of the pharaohs, it was decorated with the clothes and the wedding bed of the young as if covered with wax petals. The massive rhizomes of the water lily, hidden under water, contain a lot of starch, which also allows them to be used as raw materials for flour. And toasted plant seeds may well serve as substitutes for coffee.

Water lily


The most noticeable difference between a lotus and a water lily is in the structural features of their female part - the pistil. In the lotus, it has a characteristic shape - it is a kind of protruding barrel located in the center of the receptacle. The type of stamens in the considered representatives of the flora is also different. If they are filamentous in a lotus, then in a water lily they resemble elongated plates.

Another important difference is the location of plant leaves in relation to water. In a water lily, they swim directly on the surface of a reservoir, and in a lotus they rise above it, fixed on long petioles. The same can be said about flowers: in many (but not all) species of water lilies, they rest on the water surface, in the lotus they are above it.

The fact that the parts of the lotus are strictly fixed makes it vulnerable to floods and floods. These phenomena can turn into death for a flower. In this regard, the water lily does not have to be afraid. Moreover, in the evening, its flowers, having closed, plunge into the water themselves, and in the morning they float and bloom, like a lush rose.

Another detail as to what is the difference between a lotus and a water lily concerns the appearance of their leaves. In a water lily, they are glossy, and in a lotus, they seem to be covered with a whitish haze, which gives the plant a mystery and special charm. Drops of water falling on such a leaf shimmer under the rays of the sun, like precious pearls.


Lotus Water Lily
Pistil protruding, barrel-shapedIn most species, the pistil does not protrude high
Filamentous stamensLamellar stamens
Leaves above the waterLeaves on the water
Leaves with a whitish bloomLeaves are smooth