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Nymphaea odorata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: NymphaeaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, aquatic, rhizomed, stoloned or not; herbage with air chambers. Leaf: alternate, from rhizome; blades floating, submersed, or +- emergent, << petiole, +- deeply notched at base into 2 lobes [peltate]. Inflorescence: 1-flowered, axillary; peduncle long. Flower: bisexual, generally on or above water; sepals 4--14, free, petal-like or not; petals many [(0)], stamen-like or not; stamens many, attached to receptacle or ovary side, filaments generally wide; ovary compound, superior to inferior, chambers 3--many, many-ovuled, stigmas in radiating lines on stigmatic disk. Fruit: berry-like, +- dehiscent or not, spongy.
Genera In Family: 5 genera, +- 70 species: +- worldwide.
eFlora Treatment Author: John H. Wiersema
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: NymphaeaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Rhizomes prostrate to erect, branched or not, stoloned or not. Leaf: blade generally floating, elliptic to round, basal lobes generally +- acute. Flower: sepals < petals, +- green; petals 8--many, white, +- red, [blue], or yellow; stamens many, attached to ovary side, erect to ascending at dehiscence, outer filaments flat, petal-like or not, inner linear; ovary < stamens. Seed: +- spheric to elliptic, arilled.
Species In Genus: +- 50 species: +- worldwide. Etymology: (Greek: water nymph) Note: Plants of both California taxa problematic weeds in waterways.

Nymphaea odorata Aiton
Habit: Rhizome prostrate, branched or not. Leaf: blade 5--25 cm wide, +- round. Flower: 6--19 cm wide, floating; sepals, petals lanceolate to ovate; petals 17--43; outer stamens generally 3--4 mm, inner anthers 7--12 mm; styles generally 20. Fruit: 2.5--3 cm, depressed-spheric. Seed: 1.5--2.5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=56,84.
Ecology: Quiet waters, ponds, edges of lakes; Elevation: generally < 2700 m. Bioregional Distribution: CaRF, n SNF, SNH (Lake Tahoe), ScV (Butte Co.), SnGb, expected elsewhere; Distribution Outside California: native to eastern North America. Cult widely as ornamental. Flowering Time: Apr--Aug Note: Plants in western United States introduced, but available material +- unassignable to subsp. (2 recognized in FNANM; California plants mentioned under Nymphaea odorata subsp. odorata).
eFlora Treatment Author: John H. Wiersema
Jepson Online Interchange
Noxious Weed

Previous taxon: Nymphaea mexicana
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Citation for this treatment: John H. Wiersema 2017. Nymphaea odorata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 29, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 29, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Nymphaea odorata:
CaRF, n SNF, SNH (Lake Tahoe), ScV (Butte Co.), SnGb, expected elsewhere;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.