Water lily ID

ScareCrow

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28 Jan 2019
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Hi All,

I'm trying to track down a water lily I kept years ago. It was sold as an aquarium plant but I suspect it wasn't. The distributor had substituted the Nymphaea stellata that the shop had ordered with the lily I bought, so the shop didn't know the name of it.
I don't have any pictures of it but here's a description:
Surface leaves were oval with a narrow split at the back, approximately 80-100mm, dark green on top with irregular dark speckles (approximately 2-4mm), the underside was a silver colour. They were held to the tuber with dark, approximately 3mm diameter stems.
There were only ever two leaves under water. They appeared opposite each other, were light green, approximately 100-150mm, rounded and ruffled. They looked a bit like the leaves of Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) but lighter green and larger.
The tuber was approximately 100-150mm and green. It looked like a Fatsia Japonica stem if you cut off the petioles.
The tank at the time was about 450mm deep, had tetra complete substrate and was lit by two 11w CFL bulbs. The growth rate was incredible and when I removed the lily the entire substrate was one solid mat of roots. Unfortunately it never flowered so I can't give a description of that.

Sorry for such a long post and I really appreciate it if you've made it this far. I wanted to give as much description as I could as I've spent days looking for this plant online to no avail.
 

zozo

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I personally know only 2 speckled Nymphaea sp. in the aquarium trade and that is the Tiger Lotus - Nypmhaea Zenkeri and Nymphaea micrantha.

For the rest, it is pretty difficult to ID a water lily from a description only... You could narrow it down with looking up a database
that contains aquarium suitable nymphaea sp.
https://www.flowgrow.de/db/aquaticplants?filter[fulltext]=Nymphaea&searchCharacter=n

The rest is likely deemed too big for an aquarium and only available in pond shops.

The other thing to narrow it down is to determine the tuber/rhizome type... There are 3 common types of rhizomes The Marliac, Tuberosa and the Mexicana. The Marliac and Tuberosa are the winter-hardy ones and grow/spread horizontally.




The Mexicana rhizome is exclusively tropical lily species and looks like a bulb and roots vertically.


If yours has a Mexicana rhizome then you know you have a tropical lily and there are only very few in the trade as aquarium suitable and the majority is a rather difficult plant to keep.

Does it not have that then it could become a real challenge to determine its sp.
 

ScareCrow

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Hi, thanks for your reply. I did have a look at that site yesterday. I didn't see it on there but I'll have another look through as I was filtering by Nymphaea.
 

ScareCrow

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From your post zozo, I'd say the tuber most closely resembled the first picture, which would make it Marliac. Thanks for the info, it's narrowing down the search a bit.
 

zozo

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From your post zozo, I'd say the tuber most closely resembled the first picture, which would make it Marliac. Thanks for the info, it's narrowing down the search a bit.

Then you have a hardy type, most common in the pond shop lilies and that could be quite a lot... There is a huge number of cultivars with fantasy names out there... If it's a small pond lily then look up the "Nymphaea Pygmaea" types there are a few. But size doesn't say it all depending on the conditions and rhizome size a lily with the potential of getting big can stay small for years.
 

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