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Nymphaea zenkeri 'Red'


Nymphaea zenkeri 'Red'

Family Name: Nymphaeaceae
Common Name: Tiger Lotus Red


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

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


Native Distribution Tropical Africa
Native Habitat Aquatic
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form An aquatic bulb. 
Foliage The leaves, arranged in a rosette are red and variegated with maroon spots, making it an attractive plant to have. The submerged, heart shaped leaves have an entire, undulating margin and turn red under bright light. The floating leaves lie flat on the water surface and are much bigger then the submerged leaves. Once floating leaves are formed and reach the water surface, the plant will continuously produce floating leaves.  
Stems The stem is a bulb. 
Flowers The flower is pink and rises above the water surface, it blooms at night. The flower will only develop when the plant has floating leaves.  
Habitat It can be found in still or slow-moving water. 
Cultivation It is ideally grown under bright light, in water pH of 6.2 to 7.2 and in water temperatures of 22 to 28°C. It is best grown in rich growing medium. The plant has a tendency to form floating leaves under low light conditions. As such, it is best to keep this plant under bright lightning in freshwater aquariums where it is a popular focal plant to prevent it from shading out light for the other plants in the aquarium. Continuous pruning of the floating leaves will help to promote growth of the submerged leaf form.   
Ethnobotanical Uses [Others]: The plant is popular for use in freshwater aquariums and is often placed as a focal plant due to its attractive foliage. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Waterlogged Soils
Landscape Uses Pond / Lake / River, Aquarium / Aquascape
Thematic Landscaping Water Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Pruning To encourage the growth of submerged leaves, continuous pruning of the floating leaves should be done. 
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Red, Patterned
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Rosulate / Rosette
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate
Foliar Base Cordate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Pink
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Location Axillary
Flowering Opening Time Night (dusk to dawn)

Image Repository



Master ID 31422
Species ID 5819
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: 20 August 2021.