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Nymphaea odorata

Pronunciation: nim-FEE-uh oh-duh-RAY-tuh
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Common Name: American White Waterlily, Alligator Bonnet, Fragrant Water Lily
Plant Type:
  • aquatic
  • perennial
  • bulb, tuber, corm
Width to: 6ft(1.8m)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: American White Waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) bear flowers with pure white petals with a soft yellow center. The fragrant flowers are 4-9 in (10-23 cm) in diameter and are produced throughout the summer in most regions.
Soil Type: need firm, loamy soil under undisturbed water.
Pests and Diseases: brown china-mark moth, false leaf mining midge, waterlily beetle, waterlily aphid, and brown spot, crown rot, and waterlily spot
Propagation: Surface sow American White Waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) seed as soon as ripe, and cover with 1in of water at 50-55ºF/10-13ºC or by rhizome division. Barely cover the rhizomes with soil and place within 6-8 in. of the water surface until several new leaves have appeared; at that time move to deeper water.
Native to: N.E. United States
Notes for Identification:

American White Waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) produce rounded floating leaves or pads are 4-5 in (10-13 cm) across and the plant has a spread of from 4-6 ft (1. 2-1. 8 m). When crowded for space, the flowers that normally float on the surface will rise on their stems a few inches above the water. Flowers open in the morning and close by afternoon. This hardy water lily goes dormant in winter.

Can be grown in very small pools or even large, water-filled pots or urns. Very good in lakes, ponds and slow moving streams. This water lily is happy in even the smallest pools, since the tubers will root in mud when covered by a mere three inches of water. Needs little care. The American White Waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) is compact, spectacularly beautiful and very fragrant - it's perfect for the first time water gardener. The genus name comes from nympha, a nature goddess in Greek and roman mythology.

Source: Various sources including The American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Floridata and the USDA 

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
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