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(water lily), a family of dicotyledonous plants. They are perennial aquatic grasses with rhizomes and symmetrical, long-petioled leaves. The leaves, which often measure 2 m in diameter, usually have disks that float on the surface of the water. The flowers, which are on long stalks, are large (reaching 35 cm in diameter), solitary, and bisexual. There are four genera (approximately 60 species), distributed throughout the world except in the arctic and antarctic, in deserts, and on high mountains. Species of the genera Nuphar and Nymphaea grow in the USSR. Representatives of the genus Euryale are found in the Far East; these plants have been long cultivated in China for their edible seeds. Species of the genus Victoria are often raised in greenhouses. Some botanists separate the genera Nymphaea and Euryale into the family Euryalaceae. Others include the families Cabombaceae, Nelumbonaceae, and Barclayaceae in the family Nymphaeaceae.