Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Botany picture #27: Nymphoides montana

Further to last week's post from Kosciuszko National Park where I embarrassingly first called it a water lily, see here a closeup of Nymphoides montana (Menyanthaceae). Although its floating leaves and submersed growth represent an obvious case of parallel evolution with the true water lilies (Nymphaeaceae), it has very different flowers. Where water lilies have many free floral organs, the Menyanthaceae are typical Asterids with their 5-merous flowers and fused petals.

They are a small plant family of global distribution which is often characterized by beautifully ciliate corollas and a preference for wet habitats. Members of the genus Nymphoides in particular are apparently popular ornamentals.

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