Nymphaea (water lily) is a genus of hardy and tender aquatic plants in the family Nymphaeaceae. There are about 50 species in the genus, which has a cosmopolitan distribution. White-flowered waterlilies (of several species) are the national flower of Bangladesh.
The name Nymphaea comes from the Greek term "Νυμφαία", possibly related to "Νύμφη" meaning "nymph". The nymphs in Greek mythology were supernatural feminine beings associated with springs, so the application of the name to delicately flowered aquatic plants is understandable. Despite its common name "water lily" (water-lily, waterlily), Nymphaea is not related to the true lily, Lilium.
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