Nymphaea odorata
Family Nymphaeaceae

* Leaves round, plate-like, floating, with a thick waxy covering, green above and purplish beneath, 8-14" wide.
* Flowers white, with many whorled petals tapering toward the edges and growing smaller near the center of the flower, very fragrant, 3-5" across.

Natural History:
* Flowers June - September.
* Habitat: Ponds and quiet waters. At Wellesley, they're found in Paramecium Pond and near the shore of Lake Waban.
* Range: Southeastern Canada and eastern United States.
* Native.

* Water lilies can grow in water as shallow as six inches and as deep as fifteen feet.

* Beneath the leaf is a hollow stem that anchors the lily to its roots at the bottom of the pond or lake. The stem brings gases from the water's surface to the rhizomes and roots, and also conveys waste gases to the surface.

* The flowers open and close each day for several days until they are pollinated. Once pollination occurs, the underwater stem curls like a spring and pulls the blossom underwater, presumably to protect it from damage.

* Claude Monet is perhaps most well known for his paintings of water lilies.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008