Authentic Wisconsin.  American White Water Lily - Nymphaea odorata


American White Water Lily in Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin on September 2, 2021.


Above: American White Water Lily in Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin. (9/02/21).


American White Water Lily - Nymphaea odorata

American White Water Lily is a native plant that grows in water that is less than 7' deep and in sediment soil.

One solitary white flower per plant. Flowers have 20 to 30 white petals and many yellow stamens. They are 3" - 7 1/2" wide and have a whorl of 4 green to purplish sepals at the base. Flowers float on the water surface. Blooms July-Sept

American White Water Lily blooms from July - Sept.

Other Names: Fragrant water-lily.



Water Lily

by Scottish author, Elizabeth Gordon

Water-lily is very fond

of floating in a sunny pond.

Tantalizing little creature,

Likes to grow where no one can't reach her.




Water Lily
(Nymphaea odorata)
by Scottish author, Elizabeth Gordon

Water Lily is a queen,

Wears sweet robes of white and green;

Sleeps so sweetly all night long,

Lulled by Green Frog's slumber song.




For more information on the American White Water Lily, visit Wikipedia.

Or, visit the UW-Madison Wisconsin State Herbarium website page about American White Water Lily - Nymphaea odorata.


American White Water Lily in Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin on September 2, 2021.
American White Water Lily in Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin on September 2, 2021.
American White Water Lily in Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin on September 2, 2021.

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Wisconsin Wildflowers


American White Water Lily
Nymphaea odorata


American White Water Lily in Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin on September 2, 2021.

Above: American White Water Lily in Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin. (9/2/21).


American White Water Lily specimen collected near Plateville, Wisconsin on September 18, 1962.

Above: American White Water Lily specimen collected from Hope Lake in Jefferson County. (7/2007).


1814 American White Water Lily botanical illustration.

Above: 1814 American White Water Lily botanical illustration.


1818 American White Water Lily botanical illustration.

Above: 1818 American White Water Lily botanical illustration.


1913 American White Water Lily botanical drawing.

Above: 1913 American White Water Lily botanical drawing.



1920 American White Water Lily illustration by Mary Vaux Walcott.

Above: 1920 American White Water Lily illustration by Mary Vaux Walcott. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist.



Water Lily Flower Children by Elizabeth Gordon with illustration by  M. T. (Penny) Ross.

Water Lily Wild Flower Children by Elizabeth Gordon with illustration by Janet Laura Scott.

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