Nymphaea odorata tuberosa, White Water Lily

Nymphaea odorata tuberosa
photos by Dennis Kalma

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

Plant: floating leaves, arising from rhizome; rhizome constricted at branch joints forming detachable tubers

Flower: usually not fragrant; 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, elliptical with broadly rounded 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 greenish on the undersides; leafstalks with brown-purple stripes

Habitat: alkaline ponds, lakes, sluggish streams; usually in oozy sediments

Similar Species: another subspecies of the White Water Lily, Nymphaea odorata odorata, is also found in our watershed; that subspecies has leaves that are usually reddish purple on the undersides, leafstalks without brown-purple stripes, and petals with more pointed ends; it is found in a wide variety of waters

    Nymphaea odorata tuberosa - range map
Flora of North America