White/fragrant waterlily

Floating Leaf Plants

Nymphaea odorata:

White/fragrant waterlily

Nymphaea odorata Ait.: White or fragrant waterlily, pond-lily. Nymphaeaceae (water-lily family). 

Native perennial. Cylindrical rhizomes in the substrate produce leaf and flower stalks in calm to slowly flowing water. The floating leaves are round to oval in shape, 6 - 12 in (15 - 30 cm) wide, with a triangular notch cut out almost to the center. The resulting basal lobes look more right-angled than rounded. The leaf stalk joins the blade at the apex of the notch and multiple veins fan out from this point. The underside of the leaf is usually reddish-purple. The showy, very fragrant, multi-petaled flowers, 3 - 6 in (7.5 - 15 cm) across, float on the surface; they close at night and in low light. This waterlily differs from spatterdock in the shape of the leaf, particularly the lobes, and in veination pattern, along with flower appearance. It can cover large surface areas but stands are rarely dense enough to cause problems.