On the surface of forest ponds and garden ponds, you can sometimes find surprisingly beautiful perennial flowering plants water lilies, or nymphs. It seems that their flowers simply swim in water, and they can be taken in their hands. Of course this is not so. Like any plant, the water lily has both the stem and the roots with which it holds tightly by the soil at the bottom of the reservoir.
It is believed that it was the representatives of the Kuvshinkov family that were the first flowering plants on the planet a kind of intermediate link in evolution between gagseed and covering seed. This is confirmed by various molecular studies and the fossils of ancient plants found.
This family presents several dozens of different species that differ in the color of the culinary petals, the size of flowers and leaves, the smell, living conditions and other characteristics. The red water lily is definitely standing out among them with bright colors of its petals: from pale pink in the center to bright red and raspberry along the edges.
Structure and appearance
The developed root system of the water lily lies in the ground not very deep, but holds the plant tightly in it. This is provided by the presence of short vertical and longer horizontal roots extending from the rhizome. It has a red water lily of two types of stem: one main and several additional. Fleshy dark green color of the lining leaves are both in the water column and on its surface. Swimming leaves have a heart-shaped-rounded shape, quite dense and have a diameter up to 25 cm. In addition, they provide additional resistance of the plant in water.
Link flowers can combine various shades of red and pink. Their size varies from 12 to 20 cm depending on external conditions, for example, on the intensity of sunlight. Flower buds have an average size. The opened bud spreads a very pleasant and persistent smell that attracts insect-pollinators.
Red water lily can propagate a seed and vegetative way. Flowering of the water lily begins in May or June, and ends in September-October. After pollination has occurred, the fetus is formed in the form of an oblong box with numerous seeds. The peduncle is shortened, twisted, thereby immersing the fruit under water. In water, it ripens completely, reveals, and seeds fall outward. They are covered with thick mucus, which holds the seeds afloat. Then the mucus dissolves, and the seeds are lowered to the bottom of the reservoir, where they sprout in the ground.
The vegetative method of reproduction lies in the separation of part of the rhizome, moving it to a certain distance from the plant-uterus and fixing in the soil in a new place. With artificial dilution of water lily, the second method is used as the most reliable.
Distribution and habitat
The red water lilled lily lives, like all representatives of this family, in freshwater reservoirs with standing water or a weak, barely noticeable, current. Prefers small depths, usually up to 1 meter, and water well converted by the sun. The lining has a feature to close their flowers, “hide” them under the water with the onset of night and open them again in the morning with the arrival of the sun. If the weather is cloudy, then the flowers may not open up.
It grows in the climate of the moderate, subtropical and tropical belts of the Earth. In Eurasia, it is widespread in the European part, in the Urals, Western Siberia, in the North Caucasus, in the Far East.
Use and application
More often a red jug is used by a person for decorative purposes. It is specially grown in ponds for aesthetic pleasure.
However, its parts (rhizomes, stems, leaves) are used as drugs for internal (infusions, decoctions) and external use (ointments, compresses, infusions). It has a hemostatic, antiinflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, as well as a calming effect. Fans of traditional medicine can find a jug of many applications, but before that, a consultation of a knowledgeable doctor is definitely needed. Otherwise, the desired healing can result in even greater harmful consequences for the body. It is also important to remember that drugs from various parts of water lily are contraindicated for people with reduced blood pressure (hypotension).
Also water lilies are eaten in food. Nymphaeum seeds are used as coffee surrogate, and rich fleshy rhizomes are used to obtain starch and flour.
Pests and illnesses
The water lily is highly resistant to various diseases. Pests also basically do not harm her. However, in hot and arid time in artificial reservoirs there is a high probability of an attack on the nymphs of a juglisten leaflet feeding on the floating leaves of the plant. Another enemy of the water lily is the aphid, which affects the flowers of nymphs and contributes to their too early fusion. It is necessary to deal with pests only by mechanical methods (removal of insects and affected parts of the plant), since insecticides adversely affect plants and animals of water bodies.
But the most important enemy of the water lilies, of course, is a person. Its excessive interference in the existence of their population in order to extract raw materials to obtain various substances led to a sharp reduction in the number of red water lilies. The water lily is restored extremely slowly, and the pace of its production, on the contrary, only increase. Ecology worsening due to the activities of people also adversely affects this plant. Drainage of water bodies, their pollution and other effects on natural resources, can lead to the disappearance of the type. Therefore, it is extremely important to give nature to what is so treacherous from her. Growing water lily and returning to the natural environment, refusing to collect wild flowers, observance of purity when being in nature compensate for the harm caused to it by a person.