Lily vs Lotus: Difference and Comparison

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.

Key Takeaways

  1. Lilies have six petals, while lotus flowers can have over 20 petals.
  2. Lilies are available in various colors, while lotus flowers are mostly found in pink and white shades.
  3. Lilies are fragrant, while lotus flowers have a mild aroma or none at all.

Lily vs Lotus

Lilies have more than seventy species, they bloom right above the surface of the water and float like that. On the other hand lotus has leaves and flowers which grow about four feets above the water surface. Both have different colors like lilies have rose or white and lotus has pink and white.

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 with most 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 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

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.

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These beautiful, long-lasting cut flowers are white, pink, red, orange, and yellow. The lily flower has been around for millennia. In Greek mythology, the Lily was the flower of Hera, Zeus’ wife.

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 many kinds of tropical water lilies exist, 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 much bigger than water lilies. They may grow up to 8 feet tall and have 18-36 inches long leaves. With a size like big, even the flowers aren’t overlooked. The blooms may reach a diameter of up to 12 inches.

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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.

Bali red needs long periods of bright, warm weather and good soil to blossom effectively. 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 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.
Difference Between Lily and Lotus

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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17 thoughts on “Lily vs Lotus: Difference and Comparison”

  1. A very detailed description, it was a pleasure to read it. The explanation about the species differences was particularly interesting. I look forward to reading more articles like this.


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