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Blue water lilyBlue Water Lily (Nymphaea caerulea) Info
This plant is a perennial native of Africa with round, floating leaves and blue flowers that bloom in late summer.  It is usually cosidered of Neptune, but one of the reasons the Egyptians loved this plant was because the yellow center surrounded by blue petals resembled the Sun in a blue sky.  The Egyptians associated the buds of this plant with male sexuality and the open flowers with female sexuality.  The scent of the flower was considered healing, the flowers were added to wine to create a recreational hallucinogen, and the flower was also used to induce trance in shamans for the purpose of healing on a spiritual level, such as helping guide the souls of the dead (and in fact, this plant is generally associated with ritual mourning in Egyptian art, where it symbolized rebirth).  No psychoactive chemicals have been found in the flower alone, but there is some indication that something is activated when the flower is soaked in wine for a few days.  The effects have been described as euphoric and tranquilizing.  The flowers of this plant are also one of the ingredients in an Ayurvedic oil rubbed on the body for polio and paralysis.  The scented flowers bloom from June through September; the blooms are 2.5-6 inches in diameter and are lifted well above the water.  They open in the morning and last three days. Top

How to grow Blue Water Lily: An acid tolerant plant that has been found growing in water with pH 3 (which allows it to become a weed in some parts of the world), it generally grows in up to 3 feet of water, but under cultivation it can grow in much less, and shallower water is warmer--only a few inches above the growing tip is plenty.  This is a tropical aquatic plant that likes hot weather, full sun, and calm water.  The following planting info was sent in by a customer who had success growing these seeds: Aaron's Planting Method for N. caerulea: Fill a 2-gallon goldfish bowl with water and add a couple drops of potassium permanganate to keep the water clear and remove iron. Let the water sit for 5 days. Then plant the seeds in a 4-inch clay pot filled with rich potting soil. Sprinkle some blood meal on the top of the soil and carefully submerge the pot in the water until the top of the pot is 3 inches under. The water temperature needs to be above 65-75 F for them to grow (that's pretty warm).  The best time to germinate these seeds is January-March, which is the end of summer in the southern hemisphere, where it originates, but at least one customer has germinated them in the fall. Top

These plants are heavy feeders and will not bloom without lots of fertilizer, so fertilize regularly.  If algae grows due to the fertilizer, that is okay, because the water lily will still suck the nutrients out of the water, and it will clarify.  The rhizomes can be lifted in cold climates and preserved in damp sand in a cool greenhouse.  This is a fast-growing plant, and once they develop rhizomes, they need big pots.  Watch out for aphids, which you can see if you turn the leaves over. General growing info Top

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2004, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission