Page 2

Unknown tropicals in Trinidad/Tobago (Kevin), Venezuela (Fernando) and Guatemala (Eduardo)
Click images to enlarge - Back to Page 1

 Kit wrote: I have been confused about Kevin's lily. I thought he was saying there were two different ones on opposite sides of the river. When I was putting his new images on the page I wrote him privately to be sure I captioned them correctly and he clarified -- "It's the same lily that seems to put out both flowers. The large flower in the morning and the smaller flower in the afternoon. Same lily pad. Just two types of flowers."
Jorge provided a link to this image and wrote:
Kit wrote there is the possibility that the plants on the right could be N. ampla ......Now look at
the 10th. pic.Congratulations!, is the same Nymph.

Photo from Guardian-Life Wildlife Fund
Kit wrote: I wish I could accept the credit of being right but I think the image there (at the left) is N. lotus. We grow both lilies and, where it helps that they bloom at their assigned times here, their flowers are distinctly different.
Fernando wrote: the pic at the link (above left) and the pic posted by Kit (above right), the two flowers pointed by Jorge; one is young flower and the other can be an old one. If we look back to the first pic posted by Kevin we can see the same. The two flowers from Kit they look almost the same age or maybe with just a day in between, and if we go closer the stamen ends are white on Kit pic and on Kevin pic a bright yellow and the same on Jorge link. Now lets be clear, the water lilies from Venezuela has nothing to do so far with the one from Trinidad. So lets point our attention to the one in Trinidad and again everything is heading to be N.ampla. But still remain the question about the young flowers opening in the
afternoon and the old during morning.

N. lotus

Kit wrote: Something like this is normal. First day flowers usually open later than older ones and don't stay open very long. They open for a longer time each day.  
N. ampla
Kevin wrote: It is strange that something so close could provide the solution. I went to the Guardian Life site only to see the flower. I know Roger Nickels and will try to call him today to get the information. He is a well known photographer who once got some of his work published in National Geographic. Many of his wild life photographs are taken in the Nariva swamp. I should have known. I will get back to you in a few days with his information. In the mean time we did transplant 20 plants to our ponds in Tobago and all but three seem to be doing well. Two were stolen and one has melt. I will take the photographs and put them up next week.
Eduardo wrote:  This species comes from southern Guatemala, is very resistant, invasive and prolific. I have some seeds but need to check for fertility. If they are OK, I could send you seeds for the seed bank that you are planning to start. All I know is that it is a night bloomer it is not viviparous but I do not have the species ID. Can you help me identifying the plant?
Early in this discussion, Dave Wilson wrote : I am only guessing but I would say it is very similar to Nymphaea pubescens a night flowering lily that is here in the NT of Australia as well. He has recent;y provided this image of N. pubescens by Ian Morris.

Kit wrote --
 We have an answer to the questions raised by Kevin, Fernando and Eduardo about the lilies in Tobago, Venezuela and Guatemala from Dr. John Wiersema. John is the person we consider the ultimate authority on Nymphaea species, the "father" of GRIN and one of the world's leading taxonomists.

John wrote --
There has never been an American distribution cited for N. lotus because it is not native in this hemisphere. You may be remembering this information from a paper I published some time ago. When I did that paper
(1982) I had seen specimens from naturalized populations from Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Venezuela, and Panama. The plant had become quite established in the western state of Zulia in Venezuela and near the Canal Zone. It seems likely that it continues to expand its range in the New World. The Guatemalan plant is definitely N. lotus, one can tell by the way the flower opens, with the petals being reflexed fully 90 degrees and the stamens remaining erect. Also the peltate nature and shape of the leaves and their margins. The question of whether it is N. lotus or N. pubescens is not so critical, since we really do not know whether or not N. lotus and N. pubescens should be distinguished or how they should be distinguished. I have kept them separated mostly out of botanical tradition, but I have no firm basis for doing so at this time other than geography. For introduced plants in the New World I have adopted the older name, N. lotus.

The Trinidad/Tobago plants are confusing me, because clearly there are two different plants involved. The picture at the top of your page 1 on the left is again N. lotus, with the flowers in the process of closing,
and there is a closeup of a spent flower of this further down on the same page with a closeup of a leaf just below that. However, underneath this is a photo of plants apparently growing alongside a river, with flowers fully open into a V-shape. This I would identify as N. pulchella, of subg. Brachyceras. Remember that I have partioned the former N. ampla into N. ampla, occurring in Mexico, Central America, and the Greater Antilles, and N. pulchella, occurring in Mexico, Central America, Greater & Lesser Antilles, and South America. Only the latter is known from Trinidad/Tobago.

Kit interjects here --
I never realized they were so closely related since we don't have any images of N. pulchella.

John continues --
The differences between the two are quite subtle to describe, but easily seen when one has both plants together. The two species are certainly related to one another. I will paste below a brief description of the
differences between the two species:

Nymphaea ampla differs from N. pulchella in the leaf margins, which are dentate with acute teeth in N. ampla and undulate, crenate, or dentate with obtuse or rounded teeth in N. pulchella. It also tends to have more
stamens, more reticulate venation on the undersurface of the leaf, and blackish markings on the uppersurface of leaves.

I could add an additional note that there is only one historical record for N. ampla from Texas, collected near the turn of the last century, and none from Louisiana of which I am aware. I have myself collected it in s.
Florida, but could not find it there on my last visit a few years ago in the same locality. Perhaps the plant seen in Lake Charles could be N. lotus as well, as there are introductions of N. lotus in Louisiana reported
in my paper.

Because the plants photographed by Fernando were in cultivation, it is difficult to know for certain from whence they came. Both N. lotus and N. pulchella occur in the wild in Venezuela, and would have their flowers open during the morning hours. All of the Hydrocallis species would normally be fully closed during the day (N. amazonum closing in the very early morning), although flowers that had been interfered with might not close properly and appear to be open. In any case, the only Hydrocallis that would have non-entire leaves is N. rudgeana, but I doubt that is his plant. My guess is that his first plant is N. pulchella, but the resolution of the photo is insufficient to be certain.

Incidentally, I myself collected water-lilies in Venezuela in the late 70's in collaboration with the Instituto Botanico in Caracas, located on the grounds of the Botanic Garden. I left several night-blooming Hydrocallis
species in the pond of the Instituto and have often wondered if they had been cared for and survived.

Back to Page 1

Waterlilies | Lotus | Aquatic Plants | Victoria | Our Adventure With Victoria
Water Gardening | Water Gardening Friends | New This Month
Kit & Ben Knotts | Our Garden | Search The Site | Home 
New! Email Discussion List