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No pond is complete without a water lily! Water lilies generally sit on the bottom of the pond (or on shelves at a depth to suit), their leaves growing upwards to float on the water’s surface. Their blooms, regularly thought of as the jewel of the pond, come in a range of beautiful shades and colours.

Water lilies need a sunny position, away from splashing water. As with other pond plants, each lily has a preferred planting depth (depth of water above the soil level), so consider your pond or shelf depth when choosing a lily. If planting in a basket we recommend fertilising them every year and being generous with container size, this will ensure they give you their best display.

Aponogeton distachyos

Water Hawthorn
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Description Providing interest in your pond for many months, water hawthorn has white, scented flowers which appear in spring, and often again in autumn. Its elongated, spear shaped leaves develop from a submerged tuber and lie on the waters surface with its white flowers standing a few inches tall.

Nuphar lutea

Brandy Bottle
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Description Also called Yellow Water Lily. This native perennial has bright yellow, buttercup like flowers on stiff stems standing proud above deep green floating or submerged leaves, similar to those of a water lily. Its flowers smell strongly of alcohol, hence its name, Brandy bottle. It likes room to spread out, making it ideal for larger ponds.

Nymphaea 'Alba'

Waterlily 'Alba'
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Description Britain's only native water lily, Alba has bright white, fragrant semi-double flowers, with yellow stamens, scattered amongst dark green rounded pads. This lily has a large spread so is best suited to larger ponds and lakes.

Nymphaea 'Attraction'

Waterlily 'Attraction'
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Description A popular waterlily, with broad pads tinged with bronze, brilliant pink-red flowers flecked with white, and deep yellow stamens.

Nymphaea 'Aurora'

Waterlily 'Aurora'
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Description A smaller lily with attractive pads, mottled with purple and green. Its flowers, 5cm wide, change in colour from yellow when first opening, to orange through to pinkish-red with age.

Nymphaea 'Black Princess'

Waterlily 'Black Princess'
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Description A striking, sought after waterlily, with deep red almost black flowers. New pads are a deep purple, turning green with a faint purple edge after a few weeks.

Nymphaea 'Darwin'

Waterlily 'Darwin'
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Description Large pale pink blooms with a double petal. Ideal for medium to large ponds.

Nymphaea 'Madame Wilfron Gonnere'

Waterlily 'Madame Wilfron Gonnere'
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Description Double petals of rich pink fading to lighter pink towards the outer petals.