Thursday, 6 January 2011

White water Lily or Sada Shapla is the national flower of Bangladesh


White water lily (Sada Shapla) - national flower of Bangladesh blooms everywhere in water bodies

White water lily or Sada Shapla - national flower of Bangladesh

A full blooming white water lily or Sada Shapla - national flower of Bangladesh

Nymphaea nouchali or white water lily or Sada Shapla

Outer layer of petals of water lilies or Shapla

Root of a water lily or Shapla ful with the long stalks

Water lily or Shapla/Sapla leaves

Two full blooming white water lilies or Sada Shapla

White water lilies or Sada Shapla and their leaves
White water lilies or Sada Shapla and their leaves

Back side of the water lily or Shapla ful leaves

Long stalks of the water lilies (Shapla ful)

Red colored water lily or Lal Shapla

Pink coloured water lily or Golapi Shapla
A red water lily or lal sapla going to be closed

These water lilies or Shapla ful will be pollinated by a bee

After pollination, the stem curls up, pulling the flowers under the water where they die off

sculpture of a white water lily or Sada Shapla at Motijheel known as Shapla Chattor/Shapla Square

sculpture of a white water lily or Sada Shapla in Dhaka with the fountain known as Shapla Chottor


Water lily is commonly known as Shapla in Bangladesh. It’s a aquatic flower that grows all over Bangladesh. In Bangladesh there have so many ponds, bils, haors, lakes everywhere in the country. And Shapla or water lily is the common flower in these water bodies. They are tuberous and are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on the water surface.
The leaves of the water lily or Shapla are more round than heart-shaped, bright green, 15 to 30 cm in diameter with the slit about 1/3 the length of the leaf. Leaves usually float on the water’s surface. Flowers arise on separate stalks, have brilliant white or other colors  petals (30 or more per flower) with yellow/red/pink or blue centers. The flowers may float or stick above the water and each opens in the morning and closes in the afternoon. The flowers are very fragrant.
This aquatic plant – water lily or Shapla is native to the Indian Subcontinent –refers including Bangladesh area also. It was spread to other countries already in ancient times and has been long valued as a garden flower in Thailand and Myanmar to decorate ponds and gardens. In Bangladesh we can see very often and almost everywhere mainly four colors of water lilies or Shapla. They are white, pink, red and light blue in color. The white water lily or Sada Shapla is the national flower of Bangladesh. At the heart of Motijheel near the center of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh has a huge sculpture of a white water lily or Sada Shapla. It is known as Shapla Chattor or Shapla Square. The sculpture is surrounded by a fountain. The location also marks a mass grave of Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.
 The scientific name of the white colored water lily or Sada Shapla is “Nymphaea nouchali” . This water lily or Sada Shapla belongs to the Nymphaeaceae family. This family contains 8 genera. There are about 70 species of water lilies or Shapla around the world. One of the genus is Nymphaea and it contains about 35 specis. Horticulturally water lilies or Shapla are divided into two caterories : hardy and tropical. Hardy water lilies can 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.
Water Lily flowers are wonderfully showy and fragrant, lasting only a few days. Some open during the day and close at night, others the opposite. Most are pollinated by beetles, moths or bees. After pollination, the stem curls up, pulling the flowers under the water where they die off and the seed develops. When ripe, up to 2,000 seeds are released from each fruit. Young seeds float as they contain air pockets. They are then dispersed by water currents or by water birds that eat them. As they become waterlogged, they sink into the mud to germinate. The plant also spreads by sprouting from the creeping rhizomes.
 The Water Lily's leaves shade the water keeping it cool and thus allowing for more dissolved oxygen. The plant also provides hiding places for small aquatic creatures, which in turn attract predators. But in places where it has been introduced, the Water Lily can become a weed and blocking out sunlight and oxygen from the water and displacing local aquatic plants.
American Indians used the plant to treat many ailments. Mashed green roots were used as poultice for swollen limbs; the roots for problems of the womb, digestive problems, a rinse for mouth sores; leaves and flowers as cooling compresses. Many places people eat water lily or Shapla as vegetable. Water lily or Shapla is a delicious item of food for Bangladeshis. Rural people consume it as curry. Children are also fond of  eating the stem and the fruit even green.
S: en.wikipedia.org; banglapedia.org; naturia.per.sg/buloh; ehow.com; treknature.com; flickr.com

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