The Royal Canadian Mint introduces this beautiful 2010 Water Lily silver proof $20 coin to create a unique keepsake of Canada’s diverse flora. The water lily (Nymphaea odorata) is a beautiful water plant that crowns Laurentian lakes from early summer to mid-autumn with showy pink or white flowers and round green leaves that can reach up to 28 cm (11 in) in diameter.
The water lily is related to the lotus, hailed the loveliest of flowers with powerful symbolism in cultures throughout the world. Much of this symbolism is attributed to the flower’s ability to emerge from the depths of muddy waters to bring life and beauty to the surface—an image that inspired the ancient Egyptian myth of a world created out of moisture. Throughout North America, many First Nations communities used the water lily’s roots, leaves and flowers for medicinal purposes. Even the rhizomes, young leaves and lower buds were eaten and the seeds were fried or ground into flour.
This intriguing beauty also caught the attention of Brother Marie-Victorin (1885-1944), one of Canada’s greatest botanists and founder of Montreal’s historic Botanical Garden. He included the water lily in one of the 2,800 illustrations in his book Flore laurentienne—a monumental work that remains a cornerstone reference in university botany courses to this day.
The reverse of this coin shows a beautiful water lily poised between two floating leaves with three CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements, "CANADA", "20 DOLLARS", and the year of issue. The obverse shows the fourth design of the Queen’s effigy, "ELIZABETH II", and "D.G.REGINA".