Yellow Water Lily Nymphaea 'Charlene Strawn' (H)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
waterlily 'Charlene Strawn'


Nymphaea 'Charlene Strawn' is commonly known as a water lily, characterized by its exceptional blooms that grace the surface of ponds and water gardens. The flower of the 'Charlene Strawn' water lily is a captivating shade of yellow with numerous petals arrayed in a classic, cuplike shape that slightly opens out towards the tips, giving it a star-like appearance when viewed from above. As the blooms mature, the color deepens to a richer tone, offering a delightful gradation of shades throughout its blooming period. These blossoms sit atop slender, flexible stems that emerge from the water's surface. The leaves of the 'Charlene Strawn' water lily are almost as noteworthy as the flowers. They typically have a rounded shape with a notch at the base and exhibit a deep green color with undersides that can be a lighter shade or have a reddish tinge. The foliage spreads out across the water's surface, forming a protective canopy for aquatic life and helping to shade the water, which can reduce the growth of algae. The leaves also display a slightly wavy texture along their edges, adding to the plant's visual interest. Overall, the 'Charlene Strawn' water lily creates a stunning visual display with its attractive flowers and lily pads, making it a popular choice for those looking to add natural beauty to a water feature without concern for its specific size measurements.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Charlene Strawn Waterlily, Charlene Strawn Hardy Water Lily.

    • Common names

      Nymphaea 'Charlene Strawn'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The water lily is not known to be toxic to humans. If ingested in large quantities, however, any plant material could cause stomach upset or discomfort due to the presence of compounds that are indigestible or irritating to the human digestive system.

    • To pets

      The water lily is also not considered toxic to pets. As with humans, consumption of large amounts of the plant material could potentially lead to gastrointestinal discomfort or irritation in pets due to non-toxic compounds. It is always advisable to monitor pets around plants and to prevent them from ingesting plant material to avoid any potential issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (91 cm)

    • Spread

      4 feet (122 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds vibrant yellow blooms to ponds and water gardens, enhancing their natural beauty.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: Provides shelter and breeding grounds for aquatic creatures such as fish and frogs.
    • Surface Coverage: Helps reduce algae growth by shading the water, thus maintaining water quality.
    • Easy Maintenance: Hardy and easy to grow, requiring minimal upkeep once established.
    • Seasonal Interest: Offers a long blooming period from late spring through summer.
    • Water Erosion Control: Its roots help stabilize pond banks and prevent erosion.
    • Recreational Value: Adds to the overall enjoyment of water features for hobbies such as pond gardening.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Nymphaea 'Charlene Strawn', commonly known as water lily, can be used to create natural dyes with various parts of the plant, such as petals or leaves, contributing to natural colorants for fabrics or artistic purposes.
    • The large leaves of the water lily provide shade and a natural micro-habitat for aquatic life, facilitating biodiversity in ponds and water gardens.
    • Water lily pads can serve as a design inspiration for artists and architects, influencing patterns and structures in various creative industries.
    • Dried water lily flowers are sometimes incorporated into potpourri mixes for their shape and subtle scent, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of such aromatic blends.
    • The water lily is an educational tool in botany and ecology courses, demonstrating the adaptation of plants to aquatic environments and symbiotic relationships within ecosystems.
    • Water lilies can be used in ornamental water features like fountains and water walls, where their floating nature adds a dynamic element to the design.
    • During special events like weddings or garden parties, water lily flowers can be floated in decorative bowls and basins as centerpieces.
    • In photography, water lilies are a popular subject due to their vibrant colors and symmetrical shapes, often used to convey calmness and serenity in images.
    • Fibers from water lily stems and leaves can be utilized in the crafting of handmade papers, giving them a unique texture and visual appeal.
    • Water lilies are sometimes cultivated for use in aquariums and indoor water features, where they contribute to the aesthetic and the oxygen balance of the environment.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The water lily is often associated with purity and beauty in Feng Shui. To use the water lily according to Feng Shui, you should place it in a water feature like a pond or a fountain located in the North area of your garden or home to enhance career prospects, or in the East area to promote health and family harmony. Its blossoming flowers can symbolize new beginnings and growth, making it an auspicious plant for these areas.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The water lily is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Peace - The water lily is often associated with tranquility due to its serene appearance resting on the water's surface.
    • Purity - As water lilies emerge from murky waters clean and unsoiled, they symbolize purity of heart and mind.
    • Enlightenment - In Eastern cultures, particularly Buddhism, the water lily represents enlightenment as it rises from the dark waters towards light.
    • Rebirth - The cycle of the water lily's growth, from bud to bloom and its daily resurfacing, signifies rebirth and spiritual awakening.
    • Beauty - The striking beauty of the water lily, with its vibrant colors and elegant form, represents admiration and beauty in various cultures.

Always submerged
500 - 2500 Lux
Every year
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Hardy Water Lily requires regular watering as it is an aquatic plant. Since they live in water, the method of watering is different from typical potted plants—it involves ensuring that the Nymphaea 'Charlene Strawn' is submerged in at least 12 inches of water at all times. The amount of water will vary depending on the size of your pond or water garden, but it's important to maintain consistent water levels. Evaporation and splashing can reduce water levels, so check the pond regularly, especially during dry spells or hot weather, and add water to maintain the proper depth. Usually, adding a few gallons per week will compensate for water loss, but this will depend on the pond size and environmental conditions.

  • sunLight

    The Hardy Water Lily thrives in full sunlight and requires at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to bloom properly. The best spot for the 'Charlene Strawn' is in an area of your pond or water garden that is exposed to uninterrupted sunlight while avoiding areas where tall plants or structures might cast significant shade.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The ideal temperature range for the Hardy Water Lily is between 70°F to 85°F, which promotes healthy growth and flowering. The 'Charlene Strawn' can survive in temperatures as low as 32°F, which is the freezing point of water, and it can tolerate the summer heat as long as the roots remain submerged and cool. However, if the water temperature falls below 70°F, the growth rate may slow down, and below 32°F, the plant will go dormant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Hardy Water Lily is essential to maintain its health and appearance. Remove yellow or dying leaves and spent blooms to encourage new growth and prevent decay, which could foul the water. The best time to prune 'Charlene Strawn' is during the growing season when the plant is actively producing new foliage and flowers. Prune as needed throughout the season, typically every few weeks, removing any parts that are not healthy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Hardy Water Lily 'Charlene Strawn' prefers a loamy, heavy clay soil that anchors its roots well. A mix of 60% clay and 40% sand is often recommended. The soil should be slightly acidic to neutral, with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Hardy Water Lilies like 'Charlene Strawn' should be repotted every one to two years to refresh the soil and allow for growth. It is best to repot in the spring before the growing season begins or after the plant has finished blooming.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Hardy Water Lilies, including 'Charlene Strawn', thrive in aquatic environments, and as such, they require high humidity levels that are naturally provided by their constant submersion in water.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Grow in a large water-tight container with ample sunlight.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in a pond with full sun and still water.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of a 'Charlene Strawn' Hardy Water Lily begins with the germination of seeds or the growth of tubers under water in a muddy substrate. As the plant grows, it sends up stems known as rhizomes towards the water surface, which will later develop floating leaves, or lily pads. These leaves expand to cover the water surface, creating shade and habitat underneath. After establishing leaves, the water lily produces distinctive flowers that float on the water surface or may stand slightly above it, typically blooming in the morning and closing in the afternoon, and are pollinated by insects. Once pollinated, the flowers produce seeds, which sink to the bottom to germinate and create new plants, or the plant can propagate asexually through division of its rhizomes. As temperatures decrease and winter approaches, the aerial parts of the water lily die back, while the rhizomes remain dormant over winter, ready to regrow the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Nymphaea 'Charlene Strawn', also known as the Hardy Water Lily, is best propagated through division, which should ideally be done during late winter or early spring before the growing season begins. This method involves carefully removing the water lily from its aquatic environment and dividing the tuberous rhizome into sections, each with at least one eye, or growth point. The sections are then planted in individual pots filled with a heavy loam soil and lowered back into the water at a shallow depth to encourage the growth. Roots will establish and leaves will start to unfurl and reach for the water's surface as the temperatures warm up, signaling a successful propagation. It is key to ensure that each new division has enough nutrients and space to develop into a healthy plant.