Nymphaea odorata odorata, White Water Lily

Nymphaea odorata odorata
photos by Dennis Kalma

Scientific Name:
Common Name:
ITIS Number:
NRCS Symbol:
  Nymphaea odorata Ait. ssp. odorata
White Water Lily
Nymphaceae (water lilies)

Plant: floating leaves

Flower: 7+ parted, white; 6-19 cm across, open during the day; sepals and outermost petals in whorls of four; sepals green to reddish green; petals white, 7-43, lanceolate and tapering toward the tips; stamens 35-120, yellow; stigmatic disk yellow

Leaves: basal, entire; ovate to nearly circular; notched, often with sharp-eared corners; 10-40 cm long; green above, usually reddish to reddish-green on the undersides; leafstalks without stripes

Habitat: shallows of lakes, ponds, sluggish streams, marshes, ditches, sloughs, canals

Similar Species: another subspecies of the White Water Lily, Nymphaea odorata tuberosa, is also found in our watershed; that subspecies has leaves that are usually not reddish purple on the undersides, leafstalks with brown-purple stripes, and petals with blunter ends; it is usually found in waters that are more influenced by a limestone/dolostone bedrock

    Nymphaea odorata odorata - range map
Flora of North America