Alphabetical Plant Listing

Nymphaea tetragona (Pygmy Water Lily)

Pygmy Waterlily, Small White Water Lily, Nymphaea pygmaea Alba, Castalia tetragona


Nymphaea tetragona (Pygmy Water Lily) is a perennial aquatic plant boasting round, mid green leaves, 1-5 in. long (2-12 cm), sometimes mottled red-brown to purple. Floating on the surface of the water, they create a lovely backdrop for the white to pinkish, yellow-centered flowers. Each slightly fragrant, cup-shaped blossom, up to 2 in. across (5 cm), features 7-15 scalloped petals surrounding a conspicuous bouquet of golden stamens. Blooming all summer, the flowers open in the afternoon and close in the evening. Their fruit is a berry-like, leathery, many-seeded capsule that opens to release a jelly-like seed mass. Native to Northern Europe, Subarctic America to Northwestern USA, Pygmy Water Lily is found in ponds, swamps, lakes, and quiet streams in the lowland and montane zones. This dwarf water lily prefers more cold than many others and is ideally suited to growing in a small pond or tub in a sheltered, sunny site.

  • Grows up to 2-4 in. tall (5-10 cm) and 16-18 in. wide (40-45 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in a rich soil in still water. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7. Best grown in 6-12 in. (15-30 cm) of water. Apply a slow-release fertilizer on a monthly basis.
  • A beautiful addition to small ponds and water gardens.
  • It reproduces by seed and cannot be divided vegetatively. 
  • Susceptible to pests or diseases.
  • Nymphaea tetragona is native to Northern Europe to Korea and Himalaya, Subarctic America to Northwestern USA.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 11
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Aquatic Plants
Plant Family Nymphaea - Water Lilies
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2" – 4" (5cm – 10cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" (45cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, Northeast, Rhode Island, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Montana
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens

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Sidneyphotos, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 11
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Aquatic Plants
Plant Family Nymphaea - Water Lilies
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2" – 4" (5cm – 10cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" (45cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, Northeast, Rhode Island, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Montana
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens

Guides with Nymphaea - Water Lilies

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