We need to raise £10,000 from user donations to get our finances in balance. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Nymphaea odorata - Aiton.

Common Name Fragrant Water Lily, American white waterlily
Family Nymphaeaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Acidic or alkaline ponds, lakes, sluggish streams and rivers, pools in marshes, ditches, canals, or sloughs from sea level to 1700 metres[270].
Range N. America - Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to California, Florida, Mexico and Cuba.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Water Plants Full sun
Nymphaea odorata Fragrant Water Lily, American white waterlily


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:IvanTortuga
Nymphaea odorata Fragrant Water Lily, American white waterlily
biolib.de

 

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Summary


Physical Characteristics

 
Nymphaea odorata is a PERENNIAL.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Flies, beetles. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It can grow in water.

Synonyms

Habitats

 Pond;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Flower buds - cooked as a vegetable or pickled[55, 105, 177, 183]. Young flowers - raw[55]. Leaves - raw or cooked[207]. Used in soups and stews[55, 177, 183]. Root[105, 183]. Boiled or roasted[207]. Ripe seed - cooked or ground into a meal[207].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anodyne;  Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiseptic;  Astringent;  Cancer;  Demulcent;  TB.

The root is alterative, anodyne, antiseptic, astringent and demulcent[4, 21, 165, 238]. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of TB, chronic bronchial complaints, diarrhoea, dysentery, gastrointestinal inflammation, gonorrhoea, vaginal discharge, inflamed glands, mouth sores and to stop bleeding[222, 238]. A poultice made from the roots is used in the treatment of swellings, boils, tumours, inflamed skin, vaginitis etc[222, 238]. The roots are harvested in the autumn once the plant has died down, and are dried for later use[238]. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and uterine injection has been recorded[4].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

A water plant requiring a rich soil and a sunny position in still or slowly flowing water that is at least 30cm deep[55, 200, 238]. An over-rich soil, or growing the plant in water that is too deep, inhibits flowering[238]. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7[200]. There are two basic types of plant in this genus (this species is a crawler):- 'crawlers' are species with horizontal roots that often spread freely, with new plants being formed at intervals along the root. These species are useful for naturalising, but they do not flower very freely in the cool summers of Britain[214]. 'clumpers' have vertical roots, they form slowly spreading clumps and produce offsets around the crown. These forms flower much more freely in Britain[214]. A very ornamental plant[1], the sweetly fragrant flowers are 12cm in diameter[222]. The flowers open in the morning, when they are at their most fragrant, and close in the afternoon[245].

Propagation

Seed - sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse in pots submerged under 25mm of water. Prick out into individual pots as soon as the first true leaf appears and grow them on in water in a greenhouse for at least two years before planting them out in late spring. The seed is collected by wrapping the developing seed head in a muslin bag to avoid the seed being lost. Harvest it 10 days after it sinks below the soil surface or as soon as it reappears[200]. Division in May. Each portion must have at least one eye. Submerge in pots in shallow water until established[56].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Euryale feroxFoxnut, Euryale32
Nuphar advenaCommon Spatterdock, Yellow pond-lily, Varigated yellow pond-lily32
Nuphar japonicum 31
Nuphar luteaYellow Water Lily, Yellow pond-lily, Rocky Mountain pond-lily, Varigated yellow pond-lily32
Nuphar polysepalaSpatterdock, Rocky Mountain pond-lily31
Nuphar pumilaYellow pond-lily31
Nymphaea albaWhite Water Lily, European white waterlily32
Nymphaea candida 22
Nymphaea tetragonaPygmy Water Lily20
Nymphaea tuberosaTuberous Water Lily, American white waterlily33

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

Aiton.

Botanical References

60200270

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

david   Tue Jan 5 2010

I tried one of these leaves, a pinch raw most of it cooked, I was curious because one author says the leaves taste like mud. I found them bland, a little bitter, however the TIP OF MY TONGUE WENT NUMB & TINGLY shortly after. There is a chance the nursery I purchased it from sent me the wrong plant, I think this is unlikely, although more likely than countless authors being wrong about the leaves being edible, I doubt numb and tingly could ever become a fashionable novelty, but you never know. I will have to do the experiment again but not in a hurry.

david   Sun Jan 17 2010

I tried another leaf yesterday, no numbness but the worst diarrhoea I've ever had. May be coincidence, but I wont be trying it again in a hurry. It is the variety 'G B Shaw" according to the supplier, I'll wait til the thing flowers so I can be sure of what I'm dealing with. Bizarre

   Dec 6 2014 12:00AM

Since the above comments I've been eating the leaves routinely, cooked, with no problems at all, I don't know what was going on there. I do think they have consistency a bit like mud or clay (as wild food authors Brill & Dean say) but you get used to it, I tend to use it in things like curry where it's passable flavor is not an issue. This is one of the most reliable & productive crops I've ever grown, like kale, leaves just keep appearing all spring through autumn. I also eat the stems chopped & cooked, as is done with other waterlilies, they're great. It grows really well in a half wine-barrel -David Nicholls

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Nymphaea odorata  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.