Difference Between Lily and Lotus

The term “water lily” refers to a group of water-flowering plants in the Nymphaeaceae family, whereas the Lotus, officially known as Nelumbo, is a member of the Nelumbonaceae family. There are just two species of Nelumbo, Nelumbo lutea and Nelumbo nucifera, within the genus. About 70 species of water lilies are found in the Nymphaea genus.

Lily vs Lotus

The main difference between lily and lotus is that lily leaves lie flat on the water, while lotus leaves rise about four feet above the water level. Additionally, lily blooms float on the water’s surface, while lotus flowers emerge directly from the water. In contrast to the lily, the lotus flower has a barrel-shaped carpel inserted in an enlarged receptacle.

Lily vs Lotus

The water lily is an aquatic blooming plant that is a member of the Nymphaeaceae family. They are home to more than 70 species. As is the case with the majority of aquatic plants, their leaves and blooms grow just above the water’s surface and float throughout. The two most popular kinds of water lilies are hardy water lilies and tropical water lilies.

Lotus is a kind of aquatic plant that is a member of the Nelumbonaceae family. Unlike water lilies, which spread and float on the surface of the water, lotus leaves and blooms rise above the water’s surface. Lotus plants are often bigger than water lilies. Their leaves range in length from 18 to 36 inches and may reach a height of up to 8 feet.

Comparison Table Between Lily and Lotus

Parameters Of ComparisonLilyLotus
FamilyNymphaeaceae FamilyNelumbonaceae Family
OriginNorth AmericaCentral and Northern India
HabitatGrows in muddy waters such as ponds and shallow streamsSwamps and shallow ponds
Petals ShapeSmall, thin and tapered towards the endLarge, wider, and blunt at the end
Petal ColourWhite or roseWhite or pink

What is Lily?

Lily is a popular name for blooming plants of the Liliaceae family’s genus Lilium. Lilies are found in Europe, North America, and Asia, with over 100 species and many cultivated cultivars. These are beautiful, long-lasting cut flowers in white, pink, red, orange, and yellow. The lily flower has been around for millennia. The Lily was the flower of Hera, Zeus‘ wife, in Greek mythology.

According to tradition, the Lily was created from her breast milk. However, in Roman legend, Venus, the Goddess of Splendor, was so envious of the flower’s white beauty that she forced the pistil to sprout from its core. The lily flower was regarded as holy in the Minoan culture, and lilies were discovered in images in a Crete house.

While there are many kinds of tropical water lilies, the Tropic Sunset is the most common. It is a day blooming tropical water lily with red and green variegated foliage and blooms with brilliant pink petals and bright yellow stamens. Water lilies may be divided into two broad categories: hardy water lilies and tropical water lilies. Flowers on hardy lilies bloom 6 to 12 inches above the ground and are 8 to 12 inches long. In addition to the Blue Aster and Helvola, there are two major kinds of blue lilies.

What is Lotus?

The Nelumbonaceae family includes water plants such as the lotus. Lotus has leaves and blooms that rise above the water, in contrast to water lilies, which spread and float on the surface. Lotus plants are often much bigger than water lilies. They may grow up to 8 feet tall and have leaves that are 18-36 inches long. With a size like big, even the flowers aren’t overlooked. The blooms may reach a diameter of up to 12 inches.

The most significant disadvantage, which is also a difference, is the requisite conditions for bloom. Unlike water lilies, which may thrive in direct sunlight and partial shade, lotuses need direct sunlight to blossom. The Bali Red lotus is the most popular type. It has dark red blooms that bloom in the winter on a beautiful lotus plant. They may reach heights of up to four feet while growing above the water. To blossom effectively, Bali red needs long periods of bright, warm weather, as well as good soil. The cultivation of the lotus is more difficult. Their care and feeding will be more demanding compared to water lilies.

The lotus flower is a well-known allegory for wealth, beauty, and fertility and is often shown as a lotus. Hinduism holds that each person has the spirit of the holy lotus flower inside them. For centuries, people have used it as a symbol of life, fertility, and ever-renewing youth. The lotus flower symbolizes feminine beauty, particularly the eyes of women.

Main Differences Between Lily and Lotus

  1. The lily’s leaves lie flat on the water’s surface, while the lotus’s leaves rise about four feet above the water’s surface.
  2. Lily blooms float on the surface of the water, while lotus flowers emerge directly from the water.
  3. The lily is a member of the Nymphaeaceae family, whereas the lotus, technically known as Nelumbo, is a member of the Nelumbonaceae family.
  4. Lotus flowers are rose or white, while lily blooms are white or pink.
  5. Lilies thrive in muddy waterways such as ponds and small streams. Lotuses thrive in marshes and small ponds.


In a nutshell, the water lily is a freshwater flowering plant belonging to the Nymphaeaceae family. The primary characteristic of water lilies is their ability to float both leaves and blooms above the water’s surface. The flower’s petals are thicker at the base, narrower at the tip, and tapering at the end. Meanwhile, the lotus is another member of the Nelumbonaceae family of watery blooming plants. Its leaves and blooms protrude above the surface of the water. Additionally, the lotus flower’s petals are thinner and broader, with blunt tips. Thus, the primary distinction between water lilies and lotuses is the height of the leaves and blooms.

Nothing beats a water lily or a lotus blossom in the realm of blooming aquatic plants. Aquatic plants are an excellent way to liven up and create a stunning fake pond or patio. Of all the aquatic plants, either the water lily or lotus will be the greatest match. Due to the tiny size of water lilies, they are ideally suited for cultivation. Additionally, they are simpler to cultivate and need less care, not to mention their adaptability.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031942203002383
  2. https://www.ajol.info/index.php/bajopas/article/view/125261
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