Nymphaea odorata Aiton ssp. tuberosa (Paine) Wiersma & Hellquist
Castalia tuberosa (Paine) Greene
Nymphaea odorata Aiton var. maxima (Conrad) B. Boivin
Nymphaea tuberosa Paine
Fragrant white water lily
Tuberous water lily is native to North and Central America. The name derives from egg-sized brown tubers on the roots, which are edible. Beautiful in the wild, and coveted as an ornamental, it is nevertheless considered an invasive in some habitats. Plants spread slowly, but they eventually commandeer large patches of water less than eight feet deep at the expense of other plants.
Identification: Water lilies are instantly recognizable by their 4-12" (10-30 cm), round, flat leaves, often turned up slightly at the edges in order to float. If they are flowering, as they do during the first half of the day, you’ll see their large, very attractive, white (sometimes pink), fragrant blossoms. These iconic blossoms are 5-9" (12-22 cm) around, with 25 or more white petals and yellow centers made up of as many as 70 stamens.
Edibility: Young unrolling leaves and unopened flower buds may be boiled for 5-10 minutes and served buttered; root tubers may be prepared like potatoes.
Nymphaea odorata ssp. tuberosa at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Nymphaea odorata ssp. tuberosa on the USDA Plants Database
Nymphaea odorata ssp. tuberosa on newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu
Nymphaea odorata ssp. tuberosa on the Encyclopedia of Life
Nymphaea odorata ssp. tuberosa on naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com
Nymphaea odorata ssp. tuberosa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.