Both these flowers are found in water bodies and widespread in our region. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably but both are distinct from each other. Being a purist, I thought of clearing the confusion. Here are some points of distinction.
The petals of a water lily are half the size of the lotus flower or thinner whereas the petals of water lotus are more than twice the width of the lily flower
Water lilies are star burst shaped with pointed petals while Lotus flowers are cup shaped with more rounded petals. Some lotus flowers are ruffled.
Lotuses, on the other hand, have a distinct lotus stem in the centre of the flowers.
The leaves of water lily floats on the surface of water while lotus leaves stand tall above water surface.
Vivek Banerjee is a pediatrician by choice and a writer by chance. He tries to escape from the pressures of his profession by seeking refuge in the world of writing. His debut novel The Long Road, which was well received by readers, was published by Cedar- an imprint of Pustak Mahal in December 2010. He counts photography as a recent obsession.