• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Nymphaea alba (H)

white waterlily

  • Other common names white waterlily

    cambie leaf
    can dock
    common water lily
    European white lily
    platter dock

    see more
  • Family Nymphaeaceae

  • Genus Nymphaea are rhizomatous, submerged aquatic perennials with floating, rounded leaves and showy, sometimes fragrant, cup- or bowl-shaped flowers in a wide range of colours, held on or above the water and followed by submerged, berry-like fruits

  • Horticultural Group Hardy Nymphaea are aquatic perennials with rounded floating leaves and showy flowers on or just above the water, with numerous narrow petals and conspicuous stamens, in white and shades of yellow, pink and red

  • Details N. alba is a vigorous aquatic with rounded leaves to 30cm across, and cup-shaped white flowers 20cm wide, with prominent yellow stamens, becoming star-shaped with maturity

  • Plant range Europe


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Fragrance Flower

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered


  • Clay


  • Loam


  • MoisturePoorly-drained

  • SoilClay, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height Up to 10 cm

  • Ultimate spread 1-1.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in undisturbed water in full sun. Plant in baskets in loamy soil with crowns just below soil surface and covered with pea shingle. Position basket so that it is covered by 15-25 cm of water, as the plants establish lower the plants to twice the initial planting depth. Feed during the growing season with a proprietary aquatic fertiliser at the manufacturer's recommended rate

Propagation Propagate by division of rhizomes or offsets in summer, place pots in shallow water until established

Suggested planting locations and garden types

How to care

Pruning Deadhead and remove yellow leaves regularly

Pests Susceptible to water-lily beetle, water lily aphid, brown china-mark moth and false leaf-mining midge

Diseases May be affected by crown rot, brown spot and water lily leaf spot

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