Nymphaea alba (European White Water Lily)

Scientific Name

Nymphaea alba L.

Common Names

European White Water Lily, White Water Rose, White Nenuphar


Nymphaea alba var. alba, Castalia alba, Castalia minoriflora, Castalia speciosa, Leuconymphaea alba, Nymphaea minoriflora, Nymphaea occidentalis

Scientific Classification

Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea


Color: White
Bloom Time: June to September


Nymphaea alba is an aquatic flowering plant. It grows in water that is up to 5 feet (1.5 m) deep and likes large ponds and lakes. The leaves can be up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter and take up a spread of 5 feet (1.5 m) per plant. The flowers are white, and they have many small stamens inside. They are produced between June and September.

Nymphaea alba - European White Water Lily
Photo via appeltern.nl


USDA hardiness zone 4a to 11a: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Like any other perennial, each different Water Lily may have specific needs when it comes to their sunlight, soil, fertilization, water depth, and pruning requirements. When shopping for Water Lilies, be sure to check the requirements of that specific plant, before you decide that you must have it! Generally, Water Lilies require a minimum of four to five hours of full sun each day to produce the most blooms. They should be planted in a large, wide pot, using a slightly acidic mixture of clay and loam with a pH of 6.1-7.0. Commercial potting mixes often contain amendments that float, so if you are using a commercial mix, be sure that it is specifically for aquatic plants! Adding a few goldfish to your pond will take care of most insect pests that attack aquatic plants as well as devouring the mosquito larvae. See more at How to Grow and Care for Water Lilies.


Native to Europe.


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