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Fragrant Waterlily Flower
  • Native to eastern North America

  • Grows 1 to 1.5 meters tall
Fragrant Waterlily Leaves

Fragrant waterlily
(Nymphaea odorata)

Quick Identification

  • Large floating leaves are round with a slit

  • Fragrant flowers range from while to pink and usually have more than 17 petals

It out-competes native plants and impacts fishing, swimming and boating opportunities. It does provide some habitat for fish but mostly introduced fish species.

At this point our management options are limited to preventing the spread of this plant. Please Clean Drain Dry all recreation equipment especially boats.  Never dump aquariums into natural areas.  This plant is often grown in water gardens.  Please do not share this plant with your neighbors.  Please report it if you see this plant.

Flowers are white to light pink and fragrant. They bloomJune to October and usually have greater than 17 petals which are in rows and pointed at the tip. Flowers are 5 cm to 7 cm across.

Leaves & Stems
Long slender stems reach up to floating leaves and flowers. The leaves are circular and have a slit where the edges of the leaves overlap. Native waterlilies have a larger notch and the two lobes of the leaf do not overlap.

Back Side of a Fragrant Waterlily Leaf

Rhizomes anchor the plant.

Reproduction & Dispersal
Spreads through rhizomes and seeds.


Seeds are small and egg shaped are are released from a globe-like capsule.

Preferred Habitat
Grows in freshwater lakes, ponds, slow-moving creeks and ditches with silty, muddy bottoms.

Interesting Facts
Usually introduced to water bodies by homeowners who plant it along lake edges.

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