Mexican Waterlily
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Mexican Waterlily
P Naturalized Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Mexican Waterlily, Yellow waterlily, Banana waterlily
Botanical name: Nymphaea mexicana    Family: Nymphaeaceae (Waterlily family)
Synonyms: Nymphaea flava, Castalia mexicana

Mexican Waterlily is delicate pale yellow waterlily which has become a weed outside it's native range Maxico. It is present in abundance in the Dal lake in Kashmir, and has to be periodically removed. Rhizomes unbranched, erect, cylindric; runners elongate, spongy, developing clusters of curved, fleshy roots resembling tiny bananas at at branch-ends nodes. Leaf-stalks are hairless. Leaf blade below purplish with dark flecks, above green, often with brown mottling, ovate to elliptic or nearly circular, 7-18 x 7-14 cm, margins entire or wavy; venation radiate and impressed centrally, without weblike pattern, principal veins 11-22; surfaces hairless. Flowers are floating or emersed, 6-11 cm in diameter, opening and closing diurnally, only sepals and outermost petals in distinct whorls of 4; sepals uniformly yellowish green, often red-tinted, evidently veined, lines of insertion on receptacle often slightly prominent. Petals are 12-30, yellow; stamens about 50-60, yellow, connective appendage minute or absent; filaments widest below middle, longer than anthers. Seeds are spherical, about 5 × 5 mm. Mexican Waterlily is native to Mexico, introduced and naturalized in many places world over.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Dal lake, Srinagar, Kashmir.

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