Scientific name:  Nymphaea


Physical Characteristics


  • Oval-shaped
  • Fleshy
  • Green on top
  • Purple or red on bottom


  • Found above water
  • Many colored


  • Fleshy rhizomes


Where Does it Grow?

Water lily can be found in ponds, lakes, slow streams and ditches.


Pros and Cons of Water Lily

Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates.


USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database (, 28 March 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.


Information and photos courtesy of AquaPlant A Diagnostics Tool for Pond Plants and Algae.