Nymphaea alba

Water lily

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Key information

Plant type


Flower colour




Skill level


photo by John Glover, copyright GAP Photos (12145)

Plant details

This is a big spreading water lily with star-like, pure white flowers about 15cm wide, and distinctive yellow stamens. It needs to be planted in a large aquatic basket filled with aquatic soil, with the sausage-like stem (or rhizome) going just under the surface. Put gravel over the top. The container then goes about 20cm under the water surface, possibly supported on an old brick. Only buy it if you have a large, still pond (avoid running water) in full sun, which will not be choked by its growth. If you have a pond with running water, choose a Nuphar lily instead.

Genus: Nymphaea

Species: alba

Plant type: Aquatic

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Dark green

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Spread: 250cm

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