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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Nymphaea odorata Aiton)

White Water-lily

WATER-LILY FAMILY (Nymphaeaceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: An aquatic perennial herb with a thick rhizome that has many tuber-like branches. Leaves float on the water surface or, in shallow places, are slightly elevated above it. The leaves have a semi-circular shape, narrow notch and palmate venation. Leaves can be as much as 4 dm. wide. Flowers are white (sometimes pink), 10-20 cm. wide, with many petals, and float on the surface of the water. Flowers are usually fragrant. In flower from June to September.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: White water-lily is found in lakes, ponds, marshes, slow streams and Mississippi River backwaters. A synonym is N. tuberosa Paine.

SOURCE: Fernald (1970); Gleason and Cronquist (1991); and Voss (1985).

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