Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea. This lovely aquatic plant with sky-blue flowers is South Africa's most commonly grown indigenous water lily. The leaves are large and flat, rounded or oval in shape with notched margins, up to 15 Inches in diameter, and cleft almost to the center where the petiole is attached. The underside of the leaf, which is continually wet, has a strong attraction to the water and this holds the leaf flat against the water.
The upper leaf surface is coated with a smooth waxy cuticle, which gives it the appearance of being leathery and shiny. This water-repellent waxy layer is of vital importance to the plant: when water splashes onto the leaf surface, it forms rounded droplets that roll across the surface cleaning up the dust as they go.
The large, elegant blue flowers are held well above the water and appear almost constantly from spring until the end of summer. They are star-like green on the outside and white to blue on the inside, and many blue petals. In the center of the flower are numerous blue-tipped bright golden yellow stamens. The flowers open in early to mid-morning and close completely in late afternoon and stay closed all night. The flowers are sweetly fragrant and are visited constantly by bees.