Thursday, June 21, 2012

Free Floating Lily Pads

LR: Lily pads have always intrigued me. I have seen them in famous paintings and imagined them beautifully and peacefully sitting on the top of water.  After seeing my first Lily Pad in a fountain of the Vatican Gardens, I immediately became interested to learn more about this mysterious plant. Lily pads and classified in the family Nymphaeaceae. It’s genus is Nymphaea. You may be fooled to believe that Lily pads float freely on the top of the water, but this is very much not the case. They are rooted in the soil by an exceptionally long stem. The Lily pads we encountered were Hardy water lilies pads because of their smooth-edged leaves. When picking up the leaf, I noticed that the surface of the leaf felt very waxy. The reason these leafs float on the top of the water is to carry survival of the plant.  Other benefits include the providing of oxygen to aquatic life in the pond where the Lily pads are located. The other obvious benefit is the decreasing of the amount of algae in the body of water due to decreased amounts of sunlight. I quickly fell in love with these simple leaves that provided a beautiful green accent to the fountain in the Vatican Garden.

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