Nymphaea odorata Ait.
American white waterlily, American white water-lily, Fragrant white water lily, White water lily, Fragrant water lily, White water lily
Nymphaeaceae (Water-Lily Family)
Synonyms: Nymphaea odorata ssp. tuberosa, Nymphaea tuberosa
USDA Symbol: NYOD
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A floating aquatic plant with large, fragrant, white or pink flowers and flat, round, floating leaves. The leaves have long stems and are bright green above and reddish or purplish underneath, almost round. They are narrowly and deeply cut almost to the center, where the stem is attached. They are up to 10 inches across, floating on the surface of the water or just beneath. There is 1 flower to a stem, white, fragrant, 2–6 inches across, and floating on the water. Flowers open in the early morning and close about noon. There are 4 sepals and many rows of white petals, often more than 25, which are 3/4–4 inches long, thick, and pointed at the tip. There are more than 70 stamens. The outer ones are large and petal-like; they become smaller toward the center.
One of the most common white water-lilies, Fragrant Water-lilys flowers and leaves float on the water. It usually flowers only from early morning until noon. The stomata, tiny openings on the leaf surface through which carbon dioxide and other gases pass into the plant, are on the upper, shiny leaf surface rather than on the lower surface as is the case for most dry-land plants. The leaf stalk, which is soft and spongy, has 4 main air channels for the movement of gases, especially oxygen, from the leaves to the large stems (rhizomes) buried in the muck, which are frequently eaten by muskrats. The Small White Water-lily (N. tetragona), has white flowers 2 1/2 (6.3 cm) wide with only 7—13 petals, that open in the afternoon. Native to the northeastern United States, it is found in Canada, south to northwest Maine, and west to northern Michigan and Minnesota and a few places in Washington and Idaho.
From Manhan Rail Trail Easthampton, MA