Nymphaeaceae

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Nymphaeaceae (pronounced /ˌnɪmfiːˈeɪʃiː/ or /ˌnɪmfiːˈeɪsi.iː/) is a family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called water lilies and live in freshwater areas in temperate and tropical climates around the world. The family contains eight genera. There are about 70 species of water lilies around the world[1]. The genus Nymphaea contains about 35 species across the Northern Hemisphere[1]. The genus Victoria contains two species of giant water lilies and can be found in South America[1]. Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on the water surface. The leaves are round, with a radial notch in Nymphaea and Nuphar, but fully circular in Victoria.

Water lilies are divided into two main categories: hardy and tropical. Hardy water lilies bloom only during the day, but tropical water lilies can bloom either during the day or at night, and are the only group to contain blue-flowered plants.

Contents

Classification

Nymphaeaceae has been investigated systematically for decades because they are believed to represent an early group of angiosperms. The basal angiosperms are the first flowering plants to diverge from the ancestral angiosperm. In particular, the most basal angiosperms are so called the ANITA grade, which consist of Amborella, Austrobaileyales and Nymphaeales. The taxonomic position of the Nymphaeaceae has always been somewhat doubtful. The anatomy of these plants is more nearly that of the monocotyledons, while the venation of the leaves would indicate that they are dicotyledons. The sacred lotus family Nelumbonaceae was once thought to be a water lily, but is now recognized to be a highly modified eudicot in the order Proteales. The order Nymphaeales is a lineage separate from monocots or eudicots.

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