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

Nymphaea 'Aurora'

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

Nymphaea 'Madame Wilfron Gonnere'

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

Nymphaea 'Mayla'

Waterlily 'Mayla'
Summary Bright Fuchsia pink double flowers with a lovely fragrance.

Nymphaea 'Paul Hariot'

Waterlily 'Paul Hariot'
Summary The perfect waterlily for smaller ponds. Starting as a pale yellow flower and maturing to pinkish red.

Nymphaea 'Perry's Baby Red'

Waterlily 'Perry's Baby Red'
Summary Deep pink blooms idea for the smaller pond or container.

Nymphaea 'Pygmaea Rubra'

Waterlily 'Pygmaea Rubra'
Summary Perfect for smaller ponds, this is the smallest of all the red water lilies. Its pads are purple blotched and slightly fragrant, its flowers open as deep pink and darken to deep red with age.

Nymphaea 'Virginalis'

Waterlily 'Virginalis'
Summary With its large, pure white, fragrant blooms, this lily is often considered to be one of the best white water lilies. A great choice for larger ponds.