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White Water Lily (Nymphaea alba)

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This is the largest flower native to Britain. It has fleshy underwater stems that can grow to 6ft below the surface anchoring the plant. The flowers only open in the mid morning and close early evening partly sinking beneath the surface of the water. The large white flower has around twenty petals. The flowers and the large almost circular leaves float on the surface of still or slow flowing water. It was once a source of oils and distillations used to treat skin complaints amongst other things. It produces a globe shaped fruit. The stems were once eaten in parts of Northern Europe. The flower was also thought to be a symbol of purity. It flowers Junt to August. Picture taken at Felmersham, Bedfordshire 11th June 2006.

11th Jun 2006 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

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Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

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