Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis

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Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis
Eichhornia crassipes, Nymphaea lotus var. thermalis, and Pistia stratiotes, RBGE 2009.jpg
In foreground: Eichornia crassipes;

in background: flat leaves of Nymphaea lotus and Pistia stratiotes

Scientific classification
N. l. f. thermalis
Trinomial name
Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis

Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis (sometimes referred to as Nymphaea lotus var. thermalis)[1] is a form of Nymphaea lotus (commonly called the tiger lotus, white lotus or Egyptian white water-lily) in the genus Nymphaea.[2] Whilst some authorities list Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis as being synonymous with N. lotus,[3] others list it as a distinct taxon[4][5] – further investigation is required to determine its precise classification.[6] The usual habitat for Nymphaea lotus is the Nile Delta, hence Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis's Romanian habitat is unusual.[6]


Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis is a water lily which blooms at night[6] – its flowers last four days and have four sepals, 19–20 white petals along with yellow anthers and stamens.[7] There is usually a 15–30 cm gap between flowers and the surface of the water, flowers are slightly fragrant; the round leaves of the plant are 20–50 cm wide.[7] A description was first formally published in Math. Természettud. Értes. 25(4):32, 36. 1907.[2]


Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis is endemic to the thermal water of the Peţa River, Sânmartin, Bihor County, Romania.[6] The area is protected as a nature reserve (51.0 hectares (126 acres) in size) and consists of a rivulet along with three ponds. The water has a roughly constant temperature of around 30 °C whilst the site has an average air temperature of 10–11 °C.[6] The thermal waters have been recorded as early as 1211, but it was only in 1799 that the first record of N. lotus was made, by Pál Kitaibel.[6][8] Janos Tuzson proposed in 1907 that this population's unusual location could be explained by the persistent heat provided by the thermal springs could have sustained the population at a pre-ice age time when the plant would have been spreading across the warmer regions of Europe; this theory was corroborated by additional evidence provided by the identification of other endemic species.[6][9] Alexandru Borza was the Government minister in charge of education (and also a botanist) who made the first push for legal protection and recognition of Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis – in 1932, the Cabinet of Romania declared the rivulet a nature reserve and the plant a "national monument".[6] Conservation action with the intent to preserve this population has been undertaken for many years (since at least 1940) – including the management of invasive species – and the plant has been included in recent water management legislation.[6]

Whilst not held in any Romanian botanical gardens, Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis is grown at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and at the botanic garden of Bonn University.[6]


  1. ^ "Synonyms of Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis". Encyclopedia of Life. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis". GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. GBIF. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  5. ^ "FORMA Nymphaea lotus f. thermalis". UniProt. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Veler, Ana (November 2008). "Nymphaea lotus up north, naturally". Water Gardeners International. 3 (4). Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b Courteau, Jacqueline. "Brief Summary of Nymphaea lotus L". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  8. ^ Waldstein, F. De Paula Adam Graf Von & P. Kitaibel (1799). "Descriptiones et icones plantarum rariorum Hungariae". Vienna. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Tuzson, János (1907). "A Nymphaea lotus csoport morfologiája és rendszertani tagolódása". Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Matemetikai És Természettudományi Értesítője (in Hungarian).