Nymphaea-nouchali-1

Nymphaea nouchali (Brum. f.)

Product Description

Description: A deciduous perennial rhizomatic aquatic plant with very showy star-like blue or pinkish flowers, sometimes white, displayed above large glossy green leaves that float on the water.

Features of Particular Interest:

The flowers are sky blue (or white) with bright yellow centres and green sepals and floating leaves that attract insects and birds for many months of the summer. The blooms are scented with a spicy perfume.

Periods of Interest

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Leaf

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Flower

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Cultivation

Soil and Moisture: Plant rhizomes in purpose made containers, using good garden soil mixed with fertiliser and compost. Spread gravel over the top to fix soil, submerge container to correct depth that suits the petioles and flower stems.

Aspect: Water lilies prefer full sun.

Hardiness: The rhyzome can lie dormant for some time in dried-out ponds. 

Maintenance and Pruning: None required.

Propagation: Nymphaea nouchali is grown easily except where limestone and high pH is present in the water. This lily blooms freely and produces copious quantities of seeds every year. Or lift, divide and transplant at the end of winter.

Problems and Drawbacks: None.

Use and Associated Planting: Useful to reduce sunlight levels, and limit the growth of algae. Plant with other aquatic plants that are tall. For example, Cyperus prolifera (Dwarf Papyrus) which forms clumps of bare stems 300m tall. OrChondropetalum tectorum (Cape Thatching Reed) that has dark green reed like stems planted at the water side. Useful alternatives and substitutes are: Nymphoides thunbergiana (Small Yellow Water Lily) or Hydrocotyle bonariensis (Water Nasturtium) that would also reduce sunlight and algae infestation. Other water lilies.

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Notes: Need to clarify latest nomenclature of indigenous Southern African water-lilies from the following:

Nymphaea capensis: the mature leaf looks slightly blotchy, and its edges are wavy and slightly blunt-toothed. Blooms are blue.

Nymphaea lotus: The flower is creamy or white and is night flowering, from 5pm to 10am the following day. Mature leaf is round, and the edges tend to turn up.

Nymphaea caerulea: the leaf is somewhere between oval to round and the margins are smooth. The blooms are predominantly white nut each petal is tipped with pale pink, blue or mauve. The flower as a whole can be very variable.

Family:
Nymphaeaceae
Genus:
Nymphaea
Species:
nouchali
Common Name(s):
Blue Water Lily
Synonym(s):
Nymphaea capensis (Thunb.)
Origin:
Africa
Size:
Small
Features:
Flowers
References:
Bolnick p.2, Joffe p.331, Pienaar 1 p.91.