Lily Pad Life Cycle

Updated April 17, 2017

Lily pads are aromatic flowering, aquatic plants. The roots and stem of the water lily grow under the surface of the water, while the lily pad and flower float on top. Like many plants, the lily pads life cycle begins with a seed.


The seed will settle itself into the ground, where it will become a seedling. The plant takes root and grows to the surface of the water.


The flowers of the lily plant are its sexual organs. As the plant matures, the flowers will begin to grow and the plant will be ready for reproduction.

Sexual Reproduction

To reproduce, a pollinator (usually an insect) will go into the flower of the water lily. By the movement of the insect in the flower, some of the pollen will reach the stigma (male sexual organ). From there, the pollen will move down the stigma and through the pistil to finally reach and fertilise the ovary. This process creates a seed.

Asexual Reproduction

Lily pads are also able to reproduce asexually by rhizomes. Rhizomes are a root-like system that grow under the soil in the water. The rhizomes spread and grow, allowing the plant another way of reproduction.

Seed Distribution

The seeds will be naturally released by the plant and distributed throughout the water. This starts the whole life cycle over again and begins the life of a new lily pad.

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About the Author

Reese Armstrong graduated from Kent State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in biology. Armstrong has been writing professionally since 2010 and published articles on various websites. For several years she worked as a skin care consultant for a major cosmetic company.