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Nymphaea odorata ssp. odorata (American white waterlily)
Cressler, Alan

Nymphaea odorata ssp. odorata

Nymphaea odorata Aiton ssp. odorata

American White Waterlily

Nymphaeaceae (Water-Lily Family)

Synonym(s): Castalia lekophylla, Castalia minor, Castalia odorata, Castalia reniformis, Nymphaea minor, Nymphaea odorata var. gigantea, Nymphaea odorata var. godfreyi, Nymphaea odorata var. minor, Nymphaea odorata var. rosea, Nymphaea odorata var. stenopetala, Nymphaea odorata var. villosa


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (I), PR (N), CAN (N)

Submerged rootstock; edible young leaves, flowerheads and seeds.

In Egypt and on the West coast of Africa the seeds of waterlilies are ground into a rich flour.

You can eat the leaves as vine leaves.

PLANTING : place the water-lily in 0.5 to 1 meter of water right into the pond or into 30 cm deep containers that will be then placed into the pond (this will facilitate divisions later on and limit spreading). Each container should hold : 2/3 good soil, 1/3 compost, 1kg bone meal.
During the summer cut away old and dead leaves.

After a few years division might be needed if there are fewer flowers and smaller leaves. In the spring, dig out roots and cut away all the leaves, divide all the roots keeping at least one bud per portion. Sprinkle cut section with charcoal powder. Plant in a pot on the edge of the pond - submerge 1 to 2 cm and then deeper as the plant starts growing again. Then transfer to deeper water. (Fleurbec)


From the Image Gallery

37 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red , Pink , Yellow


USA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Habitat: Swamp/Marsh,Bog/Fen,Fresh Water Aquatic

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Clay, Sand


Use Wildlife: Birds, Bees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Additional resources

USDA: Find Nymphaea odorata ssp. odorata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Nymphaea odorata ssp. odorata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Nymphaea odorata ssp. odorata


Record Modified: 2019-08-19
Research By: TWC Staff

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