The Nymphaeaceae (water lilies) belong to the Order Nymphaeales. They are tuberous plants that are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on the water surface. The leaves are round, with a radial notch in Nymphaea and Nuphar, but fully circular in Victoria.
Modern genetic tests of the flowering plants by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group have shown that the water lilies are among the most basal ("primitive") of the flowering plants.
The white water lily is the national flower of Bangladesh.
The genus Nelumbo, superficially similar and previously often included in the Nymphaeaceae, is genetically very different, and is now placed in its own family, the Nelumbonaceae, in the order Proteales.
Water lilies are divided into two main categories: hardy and tropical. Hardy water lilies bloom only during the day, but tropical water lilies can bloom either day or night, and are the only group to contain blue-flowered plants.
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