White Water-lily - Nymphaea alba


    Leaves circular in outline, the basal lobes parallel or diverging, all floating. Flowers white with a male of pale yellow anthers 10 to 20 cm held at water level and with 20 or more petals. Fragrant and with rounded buds.

    Similar Species

    Coloured Water-lily (N x marliacea) is very similar, but petals with at least a tinge of colour

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Pure white flowers

    Recording advice

    Photograph of the flowering plant.  This cannot be verified from the leaves, due to similar hybrid species, Nymphaea x marliacea


    Lakes and ponds, slow moving rivers and still water rooting in muddy bottoms to a depth of 3 metres.

    When to see it

    July and August.

    Life History

    Perennial, sometimes planted.

    UK Status

    Widespread but occasional in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 15 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011), it is listed as subspecies alba; Alien (Neophyte); occasional.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map