Saturday, 19 February 2011

Ambal (Nymphaea stellata)

Ambal (Nymphaea stellata), also known as water lily or blue lotus is a common flowering water flower, as much popular as lotus in India.
According to Indian mystics, lotus is the better half of sun while water lily is of moon.
The aquatic plant has roots firmly on the bottom of a pond or river, while the leaves and flowers float above water-level. There are different varieties of water lilies found in Indian water bodies. The plant is also found as an ornamental plant in almost all over the world.
Aambal is the Malayalam word for the plant.
Water lily is used in different Ayurvedic medicine preparations too. The rhizome is the main usable part. It is used in the treatment of diarrhea, certain skin diseases, piles, and diseases that affect urinary tract and kidney. The leaves and seeds of the plant are used in stomach upset.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
Order: Nymphaeales
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea
About 50 species, including:
Nymphaea alba - European White Water-lily
Nymphaea amazonum
Nymphaea ampla
Nymphaea blanda
Nymphaea caerulea - Egyptian Blue Water-lily
Nymphaea calliantha
Nymphaea candida
Nymphaea capensis - Cape Blue Water-lily
Nymphaea citrina
Nymphaea colorata
Nymphaea elegans
Nymphaea fennica
Nymphaea flavovirens
Nymphaea gardneriana
Nymphaea gigantea - Australian Water-lily
Nymphaea heudelotii
Nymphaea jamesoniana
Nymphaea leibergii - Dwarf Water-lily
Nymphaea lotus - Egyptian White Water-lily
Nymphaea lotus var. termalis Nymphaea macrosperma - Native to Australia's Top End
Nymphaea mexicana - Yellow Water-lily
Nymphaea micrantha
Nymphaea nouchali - Red and blue water lily (National flower of Sri Lanka)
Nymphaea odorata - Fragrant Water-lily
Nymphaea pubescens - Hairy water lily (National flower of Bangladesh)
Nymphaea rubra - India Red Water-lily
Nymphaea rudgeana
Nymphaea stuhlmannii
Nymphaea sulfurea
Nymphaea tetragona - Pygmy Water-lily
Nymphaea thermarum

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