There are about 70 species of water lilies around the world. The display at Longwood has more than 100 types of day and night-blooming tropical waterlilies, hardy waterlilies, lotuses, giant water-platters and other aquatic and bog plants.
Water lilies improve the quality of lakes and ponds in a few ways. They provide shade, shelter and cooler water temperatures for fish and invertebrates living in the water. And they are able to filter and detoxify the water by removing metals. They are also nutrient rich and can attract local wildlife such as deer, beaver, ducks, porcupines and muskrat to the pond. They feed on the seeds, roots, leaves and flowers of the water lily.