American White Waterlily – Nymphaea odorata

American White Waterlily
American White Waterlily

If you have forgotten water lilies floating
On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
Then you can return and not be afraid.

By Sara Teasdale

This aquatic plant is native to eastern North America from Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to California, Florida, Mexico and Cuba. It likes sluggish, slow moving streams, rivers and pools. It has large round, floating leaves that are nearly 10 inches across, and one white or pink, fragrant flower that also floats on the water. These beautiful flowers open in the early hours of the morning and usually close by noon.

The Native American of the east used all parts of the A ma ye du hi (Cherokee) for something! The root was dried and powdered and placed in the mouth for ulcers, juice of the root was used for a cough medicine, and a poultice of the boiled root was utilized for swellings. The leaves were used in cold medicines, for the treatment of grippe, and used for limb swellings.

The roots are used much like potatoes, and the seeds can be cooked also, and added to breads. In nature many creatures use them for food, from bees, flies, and beetles to butterflies and moths, to turtle, muskrats, beavers and even white tailed deer.

If these are deliberately planted care must be given to control factors, as they can easily over grow small ponds! In Washington it is listed as a Class C noxious weed!

Follow the link to read a previous post on Waterlilies.


One response to this post.

  1. […] Plant WaterliliesWaterlilies can now be planted in an open position with full sun! About white waterlilies: […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: