The main difference between water lily and lotus is that water lily belongs to the family Nymphaeaceae, whereas lotus belongs to the family Nelumbonaceae. Furthermore, the leaves and flowers the water lily float on the water surface ar while the leaves and the flower of lotus rise over the water’s surface. Although the pipeline of the dry water lily to rise on the water surface, its flowers rise above the surface of the water around 6-8 inches.  

Water lily and lotus space two types of aquatic flower plants important in horticulture. Generally, they add a delicate but robust beauty, beauty and variety to backyard ponds.  

Key areas Covered 

1. Water Lily – Definition, Characteristics, Importance2. Lotus – Definition, Characteristics, Importance3. What space the Similarities in between Water Lily and also Lotus – overview of usual Features4. What is the Difference in between Water Lily and also Lotus – to compare of vital Differences

Key Terms 

Aquatic Plants, Flower, Leaves, Lotus, particle Production, Water Lily


Water Lily – Definition, Characteristics, Importance 

The water lily is a kind of aquatic flowering tree of the family members Nymphaeaceae, containing five genera and also around 70 species. The main distinguishing feature that water lily is the floating that leaves and also flowers top top the water surface. The two main varieties of water lily are the hardy water lily and also tropical water lily. Hardy water lily leaves are 8 to 12 inches long, and also its flowers bloom 6 to 12 inches above. Also, the two species of hardy water lily space ‘Blue Aster’, a standard-sized water lily with light blue flowers and also green and also purple variegated foliage and ‘Helvola‘, a day flowering miniature water lily v light yellow flowers. 

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Figure 1: Water Lily

Furthermore, dry water lily includes leaves approximately 20 customs long. The main type of water lily is ‘Tropic Sunset’, i beg your pardon is a standard-sized job blooming tropical water lily, containing red and also green variegated leaves and flowers with bright yellow stamens and also bright pink pedals. Another distinguishing function of water lily is its particle production. During the an initial day of blossom, the pollinating insects gain attracted to the flower with the help of sweet nectar. Then, the following two days, the flower produce pollen and also at the end of the 3rd day, the flower stem contracts and coils, pulling the flower into the water wherein the seeds mature in ~ the ovary.  

Lotus – Definition, Characteristics, Importance 

Lotus is a form of aquatic plant which belongs come the family Nelumbonaceae. One of the two extant types of lotus contains Nelumbo nucifera, which is also known as Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean the India, Egyptian bean or simply lotus. The 2nd species is Nelumbo lutea. The leaves and flowers that lotus raise above the level that water. Moreover, a lotus flower is much larger than a water lily. Your leaves are 18-36 customs long and can be as much as 8 feet tall. Also, the lotus sheet is peltate, and the sheet stalk is attached come the facility underneath. Therefore, there is no slot for the drainage of water indigenous the rain. Instead, the leaf is hydrophobic, beading up and also rolling the raindrops around the leaf, eventually pulling the out through the aid of the wind. 


Figure 2: Lotus

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Moreover, lotus flowers are lot larger and grow up to 12 inch in diameter. The carries a huge number of tepals. Also, lotus flower consists of a large, cone-shaped, floral receptacle at the center of the flower. Lotus requires full sun come bloom while water lily deserve to grow and bloom in both full sun and also partial shade. Meanwhile, a common range of lotus is ‘Bali Red’, which is a medium-sized lotus plant, reaching 3-4 feet out of the water and also has beautiful flower that range from pink come red.  

Similarities between Water Lily and Lotus  

Water lily and also lotus space two types of aquatic flowering plants important in horticulture.  They flourish in freshwater.  They have actually tuberous roots, long stems, fairly circular leaves.  Also,  the petals of their flowers are numerous, large, increased or white-colored.  Insects pollinate their flowers, and as a result, they develop seeds.  They are celebrated for their beauty and immortalized in art and religion.    Usually,  they are basic to grow and also reward gardeners through fragrant and sumptuous flower from June till October.   

Difference in between Water Lily and Lotus 


Water lily refers to an ornamental aquatic plant through large, round, floating leaves and large, typically cup-shaped, floating flower while lotus advert to any kind of aquatic plant of the genus Nelumbo of the water lily family, having shieldlike leaves and showy, solitary flower projecting above the water. 


Water lily belongs come the family Nymphaeaceae while lotus belongs come the family Nelumbonaceae. 


Moreover, the water lily is aboriginal to phibìc America if lotus has a large native distribution from central and northern India with northern Indochina and East Asia. 


While water lily grow in muddy waters such together ponds and also shallow streams if lotus grow in shallow ponds and also swamps. 

Plant hardiness Zone 

Tropical water lily grows in USDA area 10 and 11 just while lotus grows in USDA zones 5 with 10. 

The Level of Leaves and Flowers 

The leaves and also flowers of water lily to rise on the water surface while the leaves and the flower of the lotus are emergent, or rise above the water’s surface.  


Furthermore, the water lily is short, if lotus is much larger.  

Leaf Structure 

The leaf of water lily has a distinctive reduced while the sheet of the lotus is a complete circle. 

Leaf Color 

Also, the pipeline of water lily are mostly variegated, having green leaves mottled v a dark violet or are completely dark purple, if the pipeline of lotus space not variegated. 


While the pipeline of water lily save a waxy cuticle, the leaves of a lotus contain trichomes.  

Petal Shape 

Petals the water lily room comparatively small, thin and also tapered towards the end, when the petals that the lotus room large, wider, and also blunt in ~ the end. 


The petals of water lily are much thicker if the petals that the lotus room comparatively thin. 

Number the Petals 

Water lily generally contains many petals if lotus contains comparatively a lower number of petals. 

Petal Color 

The petal color of water lily is white or rose while the petal shade of the lotus is white or pink. 

Androecial Ring 

Moreover, water lily lacks one androecial ring when lotus includes an androecial ring, i beg your pardon is a distinguishable feature. 


Water lily consists of 3 come numerous, distinctive or connate carpels if lotus has a barrel-shaped carpel the is embedded in an broadened receptacle. 

Blossom come Seed 

Water lily blooms over the water level and also the tires of seeds occurs within the water. In contrast, the finish cycle of blossom to the seeds of lotus occurs over the water. 


In brief, the water lily is a type of freshwater, flowering tree of the household Nymphaeaceae. The main distinguishing feature of water lily is the floating that both leaves as well as flowers top top the water surface. The petals of the flower room thicker, thinner, and tapered towards the end. Meantime, the lotus is another type of freshwater flowering plant of the household Nelumbonaceae. Its leaves and flowers rise over the water surface. Also, the petals of the lotus flower are thinner and also larger with blunt ends. Therefore, the main difference in between water lily and also lotus is the level the leaves and also flowers. 


1. “Lotus Vs. Water Lilies, What’s The Difference?” Container Water Gardens, 14 July 2018, accessible Here.2. Iannotti, Marie. “Troubleshooting Water Garden Plants.” The Spruce, The Spruce, 25 Nov. 2019, accessible Here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Water Lily in Thailand” through Trisorn Triboon – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia 2. “Nelumbo nucifera1romainguy” by Romain man from Lyon, France – Lotus flower (CC BY-SA 2.0) via usual Wikimedia