In February 1986, Nil Manel or blue water lily, was declared as the national flower of Sri Lanka. In year 2016, the national flower had been officially announced as the Water Lily, more commonly known as the Manel flower.
The Manel flower consists of light blue and white petals and although it is widely found in the dry zone, it is found in all parts of Sri Lanka and grows in the shallow water. The Manel is most popular for its blended colors and because it blooms from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., almost the whole day.
Manel flowers bloom in shades of pink, blue and white or magenta with yellow in the middle. The botanical name of the flower is Nymphaea stellata Wild.
The first part of the name has been derived from the Greek word “nymphaia” which means water lily and the second part from the Latin word “stellatus” meaning star.
We find the beautiful ladies called Sigisiri Apsarava, in Sigiriya frescoes, are holding these flowers in their hands.