What is the difference between a water lily and a lotus?

These two types of splashes look similar, but they have distinct differences.

It might be easy to confuse these two aquatic flowers at first, but there are distinct differences . In fact, although both flowers are found in water, they actually belong to two different flower families. Once you know what to look for, you can tell them apart at a glance.

The big difference is that the water lilies keep their petals and flowers close to the water surface and grow no more than 8 inches, while the water lilies grow outside the water, sometimes as high as 4 to 6 feet. It depends on the size of the container and whether it’s restricting growth; dwarf varieties are of course smaller, as are plants grown in artificial ponds. They may only grow to be two or three feet tall. The word that describes water lilies approaching water is “floating,” while lotus is “emerging.” They are fragrant flowers with a pleasant fragrance.

Lotus also tends to be larger than lilies, reaching up to 12 inches in diameter in some cases. (One exception is the Amazonian Victoria, the largest water lily in the world, with flowers 16 inches across and leaves almost 10 feet across, capable of supporting a 65-pound child.) Water lily leaves vary widely in appearance; they may be green, or mottled with white or purple. Lotus leaves, on the other hand, take on a more even green color, with the color limited to the flowers. The water lily leaves have an edge-to-center cut to drain water back into the pond, while the lily pads are completely intact. They collect water at the base of the leaves and finally release it through flexible stems and the wind.

Water lilies are more hardy than lotus. It has adapted to a wider range of habitats from 4 to 11, while the lotus is only suitable for aquatic habitats north of zone 5. Tropical water lilies only grow in zones 9-11. Lotuses require more fertilization and larger pots to grow than water lilies.

Water lily seeds ripen underwater, lotus seeds ripen above water. Water lilies form a seed pod and throw it into the water where it is released. The seeds of the lotus fell from the pods to the surface of the water, and then floated away. Interestingly, lotus flowers can germinate many years after production. It is recorded that the lotus will not germinate until a thousand years later.