Characteristics of Water Lily – Stem Description & Leaf Features

Water lily is the most lovable aquatic plant & mostly found near lakes and ponds. You can even see its reflection in water when they bloom above the water. Its flower and leaves provide shade to the existing water where they grow so that the risk of developing algae would be less. It makes the water health clean up to 50% that is why the pond was loved by fishes where water lily grows. Water Lily Characteristics are mentioned below you can check it. And if you are the owner of a big pond then it will reduce the time taken for pond maintenance as the water will be clean by half all the time. As you know water lily grows in ponds but do you know ponds are also a home for frogs and some aquatic plants and they help the water clean and healthy.

Water Lily Characteristics have round notched foliage with long stalks. The feature like it stays in water & flower leaves floats on water. Water lily are the most beautiful aquatic plants with large green leaves. They are quite adaptable to more characteristics that help them survive longer. water lily generally thrives in water bodies and ponds and it comes from Nymphaeaceae family.

The plants which grow inside of water can help in maintaining the temperature levels. This is the reason why they grow perfectly with a little care. You know light is important for plants right and it is also true in case of water lily but if it doesn’t get light then this may become invasive.

As without water , it can increase the amount of algae , bacteria, fungus growth and it will only happen when leaves or flowers of lily plants cover 66% of the water surface. If light doesn’t pass on to water then it can be at risk of developing various forms of microbes.

Water Lily Characteristics (Nymphaea nouchali)
Water Lily Characteristics (Nymphaea nouchali)

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Water Lily info
Water Lily info

(Nymphaea nouchali) Water Lily Characteristics

The water lily flower came from the Nymphaeaceae Family , and this has currently over 69 species in the world. Half of the species have long stalks with waxy-coated( this term is used for floating plant stem &  that can make sure plant doesn’t lose its position) leaves. All lilies have similarity that all floats in water and lives in water. Most species have different appearance and behavior. Here is water lily characteristics :

1 . Stems

The stem of this plant remains connected to the bottom of the sand and provides support to the above leaves and flowers. Its stem holds the soil well so that there is no damage to this plant when there is a strong water flow. Its stem is also well connected with rhizomes, which provide nitrogen and all the other nutrients that make flowers grow.

2 . Leaves

Let me tell you that its leaves grow around its flower on the water surface. The water lily leaves are nearly round shaped and they are called lily pads because of its thickness. Leaves of this plant floats very beautifully in the water surface.

The work of leaves is similar to the rest of any other plant leaves, such as cooking food through photosynthesis process whenever they get sunlight. Due to the large size of its leaves, it occupies a lot of space, so if you grow them , make sure you make appropriate space for them.

3 . Flowering

Here the plant shows its flower blooming in the summer and spring season, which looks very beautiful, if you have grown it in the garden, then white color is seen shining separately here. Different flower colors of its species such as Purple, White, Yellow, Red, Blue, it has bright colors to dark colors. Some species have more than 24 petals and some have specific time to do their own flower bloom.

Pink Water Lily shows Blooms in the evening and White Water Lily shows it in the Morning. All these lily flowers have fruit in the center. And in white flowers fruits are made in the blooms.

4 . Smell

Many of the water lily smells like citrus fruit and some shows floral fragrance depending on which type of water lily you purchase but even with this every species looks excellent.  One water lily which has a very clear smell is called as American white water lily. Also 2 water lily don’t have any fragrance and their names are Pygmaea Helvola and Comanche. I suggest don’t go by the fragrance as most of them don’t smell bad and grow very beautifully. Even some don’t smell but still they look quite bright and colorful.

Dwarf lily : There is also one Dwarf Lily variety which spreads about 24 inches of water. It dominates the area where it grows , once it matures the area it was in is fully covered and that is why this one is good for the lake , because preventing algae from developing is a way to keep the water clean.

This dwarf lily blooms in the late spring and they need bigger pong to thrive. Lilies are actually divided as little and medium size lilies based on how much they spread inside water. The little one spreads about 2-11 sq. feet but medium ones are about 20 sq. feet long and spread through its stems.

Also See : How to Care For String of Hearts Soil, propagation, Tuber, Problems

 (Nymphaea nouchali) Water Lily Information

According to US dept of Agriculture, water lily spreads about 8 inches and its thick stem goes and make a V-shape pattern inside of water. It has white color flowers with the width of 3-5 inches.Many petals are connected to a single stem with the green leaves on it. These plants are mostly discovered in ponds with the in depth of 6 feet.

The rhizome of this lily plant is kind of spongy that is where it stores the oxygen and was transferred to leaves through stems. Many times it has been seen that rhizomes breaks off by the hard water current , but don’t break its determination to grow back as this rhizome can rejuvenate and grow more roots out of it and again starting making a new shoot.

The flower on the white water lily is seen opening in daytime when it gets sunlight  for 3 days. On the first day it was without any pollen but after the 2nd or 3rd day has pollen. When bees and beetles come and sit on the flower that time flower is having some fluid which generally washed away and drops to the stigma and that is how the flower fertilize.

In some states in north America it was considered as an invasive flower plant plant. And do you know its family name comes from a Greek mythology and the word used there is Nymphs, which is an inferior female divinity.  It has also been linked to growing things like trees that grow in water Like Mangrove, Bald Cypress , Pumpkin Ash are some of them which can tolerate water and even grow in water.

Also see : String of Turtles plant –  A great succulent.

(Nymphaea nouchali) Water Lily Seeds

You can purchase water lily seeds easily on an online website and even in offline markets as they are widely available. For your convenience I am giving you a link where I have purchased water lily seeds. Here is the link. According to Well and Good, this water lily seeds are healthy as a food source and it was used as traditional snacks in India.

Nowadays it is becoming popular in the United states in a form of popcorn  which is chunky and full of nutrients. Now more people are learning about Ayurveda and how it benefits your whole body and it can do magic to your health. Here is the link for water lily seeds popcorn.

Taali Popped Water Lily Puffs 6 in 1

Ashapop Dark Chocolate Popped Water Lily Seeds

Live Water Lilies for Sale

As you know live water lilies for sale is difficult to get the live plant but off course you can get its seeds and tuber(which is its rhizomes) , Both the ways the lily plant can grow and yes it grows faster if you have water lily tuber and i have grown with both sides and tuber can get success. If you want to see results faster you can purchase its tuber.  I am giving both the links so you can decide what you want to buy :

  1. live water lilies for sale – Here is the link
  2. live water lily seeds for sale – Here is the link

Here is the link to buy different color water lily plant for sale:

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Water Lily Drawing

Water lily drawing is easy to make and here is the video that can tell you how to draw water lily perfectly. Here is steps on water lily drawing, watch the full video and you can learn to draw today!

Are water lily and lotus the same?

Water lilies and lotus look the same but if you see its leaves and flowers you can easily find a difference in which lilies have flowers that float on the water while lotus has flowers that just grow above the water surface. Lilies have thick leaves while lotus have thin leaves. Also You can easily find a notch on lily’s leaf that is quite recognizable.

Are water lilies dangerous?

Yes Water lilies are toxic and able to cause severe convulsions, stomach problems like diarrhoea , kidney failure or may lead to death If ingested.

they are dangerous as all the parts including the water they are growing inside to get potentially fatal. Make sure to prevent anyone from going near this plant and even a small bite can cause big concerns, its petals, foliage are all harmful.

How long can water lilies stay out of water?

There is no exact answer on how long water lilies can stay out of water but it does need water to grow otherwise it will fade soon. It will not die immediately but it is able to survive a few hours easily or may be the whole day but fungal infections can cause more harm and it will not stay too long.

Do water lilies need full sun?

water lilies need full sun for at least 5-6 hours and it should be direct light not partial although it can grow in partial but the growth rate can be compromised there. They need sunlight to make food and the blooms will be fresh if they get enough light everyday.

There are some varieties that survive with less than 2-4 hours of sunlight every day and still grow beautifully. It’s Amazing to see how they can grow in water and how attractive they look is another story.

Do water lilies die off in winter?

Water lilies are able to handle the winters and are hardy to zone 9, Yes they do go in dormant period , it will not die if the temperature in above 50-70 degree F. If it’s too cold and freezing then yes it can die if the pond  freezes and their is no liquid water left for plant to survive. They are aquatic plants so they need an ideal environment and water to thrive.

How deep should water lilies be?

water lilies should be about 12-23 inches deep inside the large container of lily but if you are growing it on a large flower pot , it can be about 8-11 inch deep and all the leaves will still float on the surface that’s the nature of this aquatic plant. Final depth is what I have told you, There are many natural and artificial ponds which can go deeper in water. 

How quickly do water lilies grow?

Water lilies can grow faster when roots are established and it can take 3-4 weeks for the plant to bloom and before that it takes another 2 weeks to build its stems. If they are getting normal feeding of fertilizer you can see quicker growth, and it can be applied twice every month and I suggest still checking the instructions the package every company has its own terms and conditions.


This is the best plant which comes with beauty and the white color also shows peace so you can have this in your small pond ,it would be center of attention in the garden. I hope you get the answer about “Water Lily Characteristics” and full information on water lilies.

Also See:

String of Dolphins How to Grow, Care, Propagate, Repot [Full Guide]

String of Turtles Plant Care,Propagate,Repot,Prune, Sale [Plant Guide]

Lotus Plant for Sale – Also Tips on How to Grow and Care [ Step by Step]

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

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