Water lilies are the most beautiful flowers in aquatic gardens. They belong to genus Nymphaea. This genus name is the Greek word for water nymph. According legend, the plant originated from a nymph who died of jealousy through love of Hercules.
There are two different types of water lilies: cold-hardy water lilies and tropical water lilies. The two types are similar but not related closely enough for cross-breeding. The tropical water lilies are more beautiful but need the water temperature of 70 F and above to grow. Most of water lilies are fragrant, and the fragrance is unusual.
Beside their beauty, water lilies have been used in folk medicine a long time ago. In American and England, water lily root has been used as an internal medicine for dysentery, diarrhea, gonorrhea. It also used as an ingredient in gargles for sore throats and lotions for skin problems such as boils, ulcers, tumors, baldness and inflammations. The starchy tubers, seeds and flowers are used as foods in many different places around the world.