Water Lilies

 

In the Waco Wetlands, you will see white and yellow water lilies.

White Water Lily - Nymphaea odorata
  • Scientific family: Nymphaeaceae of the order Nymphaeales.
  • Representative genus of the family: Nymphaea.
  • Habitat: Grow and live on the edge of ponds and lakes, in the shallow water and in areas where there are few plants and little competition for sunlight.

"The White water lily is a perennial plant that grows from large rhizomes. It has large (6-12" in diameter), floating, dark green leaves that may be round or heart-shaped." The white, fragrant flowers usually float, "but they may emerge from the water on thick stalks. [City of Waco].

White Water Lilies

Most wildlife will not eat water lilies: however, puddle and driver ducks will occasionally eat the seeds.

Transplanting rhizomes into an appropriate habitat is the best way to establish White water lily. It is often considered a pest, because of its tendency to overpower other, more desirable species. [It] can be controlled through aquatic herbicide application" [City of Waco].

 

Yellow Water Lily - Nymphaea mexicana

Yellow Water Lily

"Often found in dense colonies, yellow water lilies grow best in clear, fresh water that is permanent (ponds, lakes, bayous). Water over soft, mucky substrates is best. Water can be up to 5 feet deep, though optimal depth is between 3 and 4 feet.

The Yellow water lily is a perennial plant that grows from rhizomes. It has small (3-6" in diameter) floating, dark green leaves that may be round or slightly oval in shape. It also has bright yellow flowers, which are usually emergent (above water), but may be floating. [City of Waco].

Sources

City of Waco. Plants of the Lake Waco Wetlands.
Photos: Courtesy of S. Peregrine Johnson.