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Nymphaea thermarum is the smallest waterlily in the world

Nymphaea thermarum is the smallest waterlily in the world. © RBG KEW

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Nymphaea thermarum is the smallest waterlily in the world, and the only Nymphaea to grow in damp mud rather than water - This ‘thermal’ waterlily, which grew around freshwater hot springs, was discovered in 1987 by German botanist Professor Eberhard Fischer of Koblenz-Landau University. It is known from just one location in Mashyuza, in southwest Rwanda. However, it disappeared from there about two years ago due to over-exploitation of the hot spring that fed this fragile habitat. Water was prevented from reaching the surface, resulting in the desiccation of the few square metres where this species grew, and no plant is known to have survived in the wild.

Copyright © RBG KEW

Media ID 9178169

Date: 13th April 2010

Copyright Status: Copyrighted Work

Owner URL: www.kew.org

Position: Photographer

Author: Paul Little

Filename: 005265PL100413095209.jpg

Image Size: 4256 x 2832 Pixels

Filesize is 2.09MB

Associated Galleries: Flowers

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