Species commonly cultivated
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)
Various species have been introduced into numerous regions around the world. Nymphaea lotus is introduced into warmer parts of America and Europe, while N. mexicana is introduced in many countries. Nymphaea caerulea is common in eastern 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.