top of page

Nymphaea odorata Ait. – Fragrant White Water Lily

General: Perennial aquatic herb with leaves and flowers arising directly from a thick, scaly rhizome.


Leaves: Floating, palmately veined,  7–30 cm long, 5–25 cm wide, red or purple beneath; rounded with narrow V-shaped split; stalks long, rounded, with four air channels that carry oxygen to the rhizome.


Flowers: White, showy, fragrant, 7–20 cm wide, with many white petals and four green sepals on a rounded receptacle, solitary on long stalks; floating on surface of water; open only from mid-morning to early afternoon; throughout summer.


Fruits: Leathery berries with many seeds; ripening under water in mid- to late summer.


Where found: In slow-moving or still water in lakes, ponds, and rivers; from Newfoundland to the Manitoba, south to Texas and Florida.






Return to Plant List

bottom of page