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Nymphaea capensis Thunb.
Family Nymphaeaceae
Common name: Cape Waterlily

Nymphaea capensis Thunb. APNI*

Synonyms: Nymphaea caerulea subsp. zanzibarensis (Casp.) S.W.L.Jacobs APNI*
Nymphaea nouchali var. zanzibarensis (Casp.) Verdc. APNI*
Nymphaea nouchali var. zanzibariensis APNI*

Description: Perennial with small tubers that may develop into short vertical rhizomes.

Leaves circular with a radial slit, 30–40 cm diam., margins irregularly sinuate.

Flowers emergent, to 15 cm diam., standing c. 30 cm above the water surface. Sepals 4, green with the margins white or with a bluish tint; the green areas of the sepals may be flecked with very dark blue spots, especially in cultivated forms. Outer stamens petaloid; appendage larger on outer stamens, small on inner stamens, the same colour as the petals. Ovary globose; lobes short with stigmatic surface on lower 50–60%.

Seeds ovoid, c. 2 mm long, olive-green or yellow but appearing brown en masse.

Photo J. & P. Edwards

Photo J. & P. Edwards

Distribution and occurrence:
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC
Other Australian states: *Qld
AVH map***

This naturalised taxon has been named previously as N. caerulea subsp. zanzibarensis. However, it is better treated as N. capensis until this whole group of species is further revised in all parts of the world (J. Wiersema, pers. comm.)

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs (1990); edited KL Wilson (May 2011)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 (1990); J. Wiersema pers. comm. 2011

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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