Shapla or Water Lily (nymphaea pubescens, family: nymphaeceae) is a common water plant and national flower of Bangladesh. The plant grows from underwater soil. It is found in ponds, canals, beels and jheels everywhere of Bangladesh as well as Indian subcontinent.
Petiole is very very long : 60-70 cm. Leaves are round or ovate, floating on water, 15-45 cm long, edge dentate and wavy, upper side bright green and lower side reddish violet
Flower is white, bluish white or bluish viiolet. Sepals 4, elliptical-ovate, persistent, 3-9 cm long, outer side green, vertically striped; inner side bluish white. Numerous stamens surrounded the pistil at the centre of flower.
Flower usually blooms at night during rainy season. Fruit is globose, glabrous, with granular seeds inside.It is used in dysentery, cough, vomiting, fever, gall and heart diseases. It helps the growth of sperm and breast milk. Seeds are fried to make `khoi', which is edible. Shapla stems are eaten as delicious vegetables. If the root is not picked up completely, it is indestructible.