E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Nymphaea tetragona Georgi
pygmy waterlily
Nymphaeaceae (Water-lily family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Neal Foord  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #87477)

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Distribution of Nymphaea tetragona
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Species Information

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Perennial aquatic herb from thick, erect rhizome; stems slender; stolons lacking.
Floating, arising from the summit of the rhizomes, long-stalked, without blotches or dots, heart-shaped, the blades 2-11 cm wide, 3-13 cm long.
Inflorescence of showy flowers that open in the morning and close in the afternoon, 3-7.5 cm wide; petals white, 10-17, equal to the sepals; sepals 2-3 cm long; stamens yellow; stigmatic disk margin appendages 3-4 mm long.
Berry-like capsules, leathery, many-seeded, rupturing irregularly with a jelly-like seed mass; seeds egg-shaped, 2-3 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Lakes, ponds and slow-moving streams in the lowland and montane zones; rare in coastal and C BC, northward to NW BC; N to AK and NT and disjunct E to SE MB.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Castalia tetragona (Georgi) G. Lawson

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References