Water Lilies ... Most Blue WaterLilies Started Life in Africa. Don't Miss Them in the Kruger
When you drive around the Kruger you will notice in the quieter waterways 3 types of water lilies. One is blue and the other two are white to cream or yellowish. If you're lucky in the late afternoon or early morning you might also see a creamy white one.
I got a beautiful shot of a waterlily at Lake Panic.
Indigenous South African WaterLilies (Blue, Creamy and White) Species Nymphaea Capensis is Blue
The Nymphae Capensis was first exported to Kew, and from there onwards to the USA in 1972. It has been the forebear of many spectacular blue tropical waterlilies ever since.
Nymphae Capensis is grown easily except where limestone and high pH is present in the water. This lily blooms freely and produces copious quantities of seeds every year, The flowers are sky blue but with bright yellow centres and green sepals. The blooms are scented with a spicy perfume.
Nymphaea Capensis has large and bulbous roots and propagates from seed.
In SA it is generally found in sub-tropical areas like the Kruger and also north of Durban. The flower is creamy or white and is night flowering, from 5pm to 10am the following day.
This is the third indigenous species. The leaf margins are smooth and the blooms predominantly white. Each petal however is tipped with pale pink, blue or mauve. The flower as a whole can be very variable.
Here is how to compare these 3 species if you come across them in the Kruger ...
- Nymphaea Lotus mature leaf is round, the edges are toothed and the edges tend to turn up. The flowers are creamy. Look for it earlier in morning or late afternoon onwards.
- Nymphaea Capensis the mature mature leaf looks lightly blotchy, and its edges are wavy and slightly blunt-toothed. Blooms are blue
- Nymphaea Caerulea the mature leaf is somewher between oval to round, it has edges which are smooth or wavy at the base of the "v' cut into the leaf. The blooms are a bit spikey with white, pink of mauve tips