Scientific name

Euryale Salisb.

Common names

water gorgon, gorgon plant, prickly waterlily



Could be confused with


Native distribution

China, India, Japan

Species commonly cultivated

Euryale ferox Salisb. (Asia)

Adventive distribution


Weed status

not weedy


rooted, attached rosette with floating leaves

Brief description

Annual or perennial. Stem a short rhizome. Leaves in a rosette; juvenile leaves submerged, mature leaves floating, peltate; petiole elongate, blade and petiole densely covered with large spines; leaf blade orbicular, venation palmate; margin entire, not upturned. Inflorescence a conspicuous, solitary flower; pedicel with large spines; sepals 4, with large spines; petals numerous, white, blue, red or violet. Dispersal by seed.

Natural habitat

lakes, pools, and slow flowing rivers, in water up to 5 meters deep

Additional comments

Euryale ferox, the only species in the genus, is a very large waterlily covered with numerous spines on all surfaces. Euryale is used as a traditional medicine and as an ornamental plant in large ponds. This plant is considered threatened and possibly extinct in some areas of India.