Water lilies reproduce by seed and by new plants sprouting from the large spreading roots, which are underground stems called rhizomes. Petals surround male and female reproductive parts. The petals are only open during the daytime for three days.
On the first morning, the petals open and the flowers produce a fluid in the cup-like center, after which they are ready to receive pollen from other flowers. Insects covered in pollen are attracted by the sweet smell and fall in the liquid when they enter the flower. The liquid washes the pollen off their bodies and onto the female flower parts, which are called stigmas, causing fertilization. After three days, water lilies coil their stock so they go underwater, and the seeds mature during this time. The seeds are released underwater after several weeks.