Latin Name: Nymphaea alba
Common name: Water lily
The quintessential pond lily, the Nymphaea alba is a submerged aquatic perennial with floating rounded leaves crowned by a bowl-shaped flower (sometimes fragrant) which is held on or above the water.
The flower has numerous petals and prominent stamens in white and shades of yellow, red and pink.
The flowers can be as big as 20cm wide and their leaves up to 30cm across.
The flowers become star shaped as they mature.
It’s a hardy plant that dies right back in the autumn and come spring, it grows afresh.
Flowering between June and September it will happily grow in water up to 3m deep and is an excellent choice for a wildlife pond where the dark leaves create a perfect habitat for native amphibians and fish.
Be sure to plant them in still water though – they are not happy near a pump or a fountain.