Species commonly cultivated
Almost all species are cultivated, as well as numerous varieties and artificial hybrids.
Nymphaea caerulea (southern Africa)
N. gigantea Hook. (Australia)
N. glandulifera Rodschied (Central and South America)
N. immutabilis (Australia, Asia)
N. lotus L. (tropical Africa)
N. mexicana (Central America)
N. micrantha Guill. & Perr. (Senegal to Camaroon)
N. rudgeana G. Mey. (Central and South America)
N. violacea Lehm. (Papua New Guinea and northern Australia)
Nymphaea mexicana is considered weedy in some countries due to large seasonal populations choking waterways.
Perennial. Stem a slender or stout rhizome, corm, or tuber, usually bearing old leaf scars. Leaves in a basal rosette arising from buried rhizome, submersed, floating, or emergent; petiole smooth, greatly elongate; leaf blade ovate, deeply sagittate to orbicular with deep sinus, venation palmate; margin entire or dentate. Inflorescence a large, solitary flower on a long pedicel, borne above water or floating on surface. Sepals 4 or 5, green; petals numerous, in series, variously colored; stamens numerous. Dispersal by seed or sometimes by daughter plants off rhizome.
All permanent and temporary waters are suitable to waterlily growth.
A highly distinctive genus with at least 40 species worldwide. Countless artificial hybrids and varieties are cultivated primarily for the pond plant industry, less so for the aquarium industry.