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Shallow water of lakes, ponds, and stream. Can occur anywhere the water is somewhat open.
Flowers late May to mid September.
Wetland indicator: Obligate
Another species, N. tuberosa, is now lumped with N. odorata or considered a subspecies by most current authorities. It's range is more limited to the Midwest. Having personally seen both I can attest to the fact that N. tuberosa is not fragrant and has flowers that are a little bigger. To further distinguish, N. odorata has pleasantly fragrant flowers, subacute petals, and seeds no more than 2 mm long while N. tuberosa has non-fragrant flowers, blunt petals, and larger seeds.
Water lilies are easy to grow. This particular species requires considerable room for root growth and tends to languish in the containers usually sold for growing water lilies.
Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.
Michael Hough © 2005