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Nymphaea cultivars


Nymphaea cultivars

Family Name: Nymphaeaceae
Common Name: Water Lily, 睡莲


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet Type
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Aquatic & Hydrophyte (Floating Aquatic)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Habitat Aquatic (Freshwater Pond / Lake / River)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Aquatic plant with floating leaves.
Foliage Thick, waxy, circular leaves float on the surface of the water. Each leaf typically has a single notch that extends from the edge to the centre.
Stems It produces horizontal stems buried in the mud known as a rhizomes. The leaves and flowers are directly attached to the rhizome by a long stalk.
Flowers The cup-shaped flower opens and closes daily over a span of 3 to 4 days. On the first day, the female part of the flower is mature and receptive to pollination, while the male parts remain immature. Subsequently, the female part stops being receptive to pollination, as the male parts mature to produce pollen. The female and male parts maturing at separate times helps to prevent self-pollination. Once a flower is pollinated, it is pulled underwater to develop into fruit.
Fruit The fruit is round to oval and covered in leaf-like appendages, resembling a green dragonfruit.
Similar Water Lilies (Nymphaea cv.) look similar to Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera). Water Lily leaves are notched and float on the water, while Lotus leaves form complete circles and are held above the water.
Associated Fauna Water lilies are often pollinated by beetles. The flower produces an attractive liquid that pollinators may fall in, washing the pollen on their bodies into the liquid where it can fertilise the female part. In some cases, the pollinator may be trapped when the flower closes and released the next day when the flower re-opens. Ideally, the pollen produced on the second and third day will become attached to the pollinator's body, resulting in further pollination of other flowers.
Taxonomy There are tropical and hardy water lilies; the latter are adapted to temperate climates. Tropical water lilies have toothed leaf margins, while hardy water lilies have smooth leaf margins. There are about 40 species of water lilies that have been extensively bred and interbred to produce cultivars with foliage and flowers of various colours.
Cultivation Water Lily grows best in stil or slow-moving, clear water.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Seeds
Others: The seeds are eaten raw or cooked and have a peppery flavour. They are sometimes dried, ground and mixed with flour to make noodles, porridge, bread and other baked items.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Pond / Lake / River, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Water Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast to Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Easy to Grow
Propagation Method Seed, Storage Organ (Rhizome), Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery, Powdery / Waxy Bloom, Thick, Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Basal
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Orbicular / Round)
Foliar Venation Palmate
Foliar Apex - Tip Rounded

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Red, Pink, White, Purple
Flower Grouping Solitary

Image Repository



Master ID 977
Species ID 2271
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 06 July 2024.