White water lily (scientific name: Nymphae alba)
Commonly known as European white water lily, white water rose, or white nenuphar, white water lily is native to Europe, some parts of North Africa and the Middle East. This plant is perennial in nature and often develops dense colonies in freshwater. White water lily grows in still waters that like large ponds and lakes.
Appearance: The leaves usually float on the water surface, are somewhat roundish to heart shape in appearance, bright green in color, and measure about 6 to 12 inches in length. As the name suggests, this plant bears beautiful white lilies that have 25 or more brilliant white petals with a yellow center and arise from separate stalks. These flowers have a very pleasant fragrance.
Hard/ Soft plant: Hard plant
Ideal water temperature conditions: White water lily prefers a warm tropical climate that is 22 degrees Celsius and more. Tubers should preferably be removed in winters as they cannot withstand lower temperatures.
Lighting conditions: White water lily plant prefers high lighting levels for optimum growth.
Ideal pH conditions: White water lily can tolerate pH levels between 6 and 7.5.
Functions and advantages:
1) Contains active alkaloids namely nupharin and nymphaeine which are natural sedatives or aphrodisiac.
2) It is also used in treating bronchitis, anxiety, chest congestions and regulates the gastrointestinal environment.
3) It has a host of beauty benefits like anti-ageing, skin brightening, preventing hair loss etc.
4) The root of white water lily is edible and can be cooked and eaten. The seeds work well as a coffee substitute.
5) Researchers are recording the use of white water lily in uterine cancer treatment.
6) Submerged parts provide a natural habitat for aquatic micro and macro invertebrates, which in turn become food for fishes and other wildlife species.
Did you know?
White water lily can propagate via seeds or rhizome.