Wednesday, September 9, 2009


PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: There are 8 genera in the family of plants we commonly refer to as water lilies. The yellow lily, which has lost all but one of its petals, is of the genus Nuphar. The petals of these lilies are stubby and stay so tightly curled that they look like perpetual buds. In fact, the petals hinge back only slightly. Once they are open the flowers are as popular as a good Irish pub; it isn't long before many bugs are clamoring at once for a seat inside at the bar.

The pink lily is of a different but closely related genus, Nymphaea, goddesses of the woodland spring. The species of Nymphaea are much more numerous. They blossom in the air and sleep below water. The bugs visit here too, but are much more polite and refined.

Nuphar water lilies are sometimes referred to popularly by the term lotus, but the sacred Indian lotus for which the term is more commonly used is of an entirely different genus and family from Nuphar and the other genera of the family we call water lilies.