Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea – Blue Egyptian Lotus

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Scientific Name

Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea (Savigny) Verdc.

Common Names

Blue Lotus, Blue Egyptian Lotus, Blue Water Lily, Blue Egyptian Water Lily, Sacred Blue Lily, Frog’s Pulpit

Synonyms

Nymphaea caerulea (basionym), Nymphaea mildbraedii, Nymphaea nelsonii, Nymphaea spectabilis, Nymphaea vernayi

Scientific Classification

Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea

Flower

Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Spring until the end of summer

Description

Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea is a clump-forming perennial with thick, black, spongy, tuberous rhizomes anchored in the pond mud by spreading roots. It does not have true stems. The leaves are on long petioles (leaf stalks) that arise directly from the rhizome. The leaves are large and flat, rounded or oval in shape with notched margins, up to 16 inches (40 cm) in diameter, and cleft almost to the center where the petiole is attached. One plant can spread over an area of about 3.3 feet (1 m). The large, elegant blue flowers are held well above the water at the tip of a sturdy green stalk and appear almost constantly from spring until the end of summer. They are star-like, with 4 sepals, green on the outside and white to blue on the inside, and many blue petals. In the center of the flower are numerous blue-tipped bright golden yellow stamens.

Photo via treknature.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C)  to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Like any other perennial, each different Water Lily may have specific needs when it comes to their sunlight, soil, fertilization, water depth and pruning requirements. When shopping for Water Lilies, be sure to check the requirements of that specific plant, before you decide that you must have it! Generally, Water Lilies require a minimum of four to five hours of full sun each day to produce the most blooms. They should be planted in a large, wide pot, using a slightly acidic mixture of clay and loam with a pH of 6.1-7.0. Commercial potting mixes often contain amendments that float, so if you are using a commercial mix be sure that it is specifically for aquatic plants! Adding a few goldfish to your pond will take care of most insect pests that attack aquatic plants as well as devouring the mosquito larvae… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Water Lilies

Origin

Its original habitat may have been along the Nile and other parts of east Africa.

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