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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 2016. Nymphaea odorata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 02, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 02, 2016.

Nymphaea odorata
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© 2009 Barry Rice
Nymphaea odorata
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© 2011 Barry Breckling

More photos of Nymphaea odorata in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Nymphaea odorata:
CaRF, n SNF, SNH (Lake Tahoe), ScV (Butte Co.), SnGb, expected elsewhere;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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.