Water Lily Nymphaea 'Darwin' (H)

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


Nymphaea 'Darwin' (H), commonly known as the water lily 'Darwin', is a captivating aquatic plant renowned for its ornamental value in ponds and water gardens. The most striking feature of this plant is its blooms. The flowers are large and showy. They commonly exhibit a radiant shade of pink that ranges from soft blush to a deeper, more vibrant hue, depending on the variety. At the center of the bloom, a cluster of golden-yellow stamens adds a contrasting pop of color, which attracts pollinators and admirers alike. The petals of the water lily are numerous and they possess a delicate, almost silky texture that can appear to glisten in the sunlight. The water lily's blossoms float gracefully on the water's surface, supported by a flexible stem that trails back to the plant's anchored position below. This floating characteristic gives the plant a dreamy, ethereal quality. Beneath the blooms, the water lily 'Darwin' has rounded leaves, which are often referred to as lily pads. These pads can vary in color, sometimes displaying shades of green, sometimes mottled with burgundy or purplish tones. Their surfaces are waxy and repel water, causing droplets to bead on top, and they serve the practical purpose of providing shade and shelter to the aquatic life beneath. The water lily 'Darwin' overall portrays a peaceful and tranquil aesthetic, making it a favorite for water features as it provides visual interest and a sense of serenity.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Hollandia Water Lily, Darwin Water Lily

    • Common names

      Nymphaea 'Darwin' (H).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Water lily 'Darwin' is not known to be toxic to humans. It does not typically cause poisoning or adverse reactions if ingested in small amounts. However, it is always advisable to avoid ingesting parts of ornamental plants due to potential individual allergic reactions or possible contamination from pesticides or pollutants.

    • To pets

      Water lily 'Darwin' is not known to be toxic to pets. It is generally considered safe and does not typically result in poisoning if pets come into contact with or ingest parts of the plant. Nevertheless, it is always prudent to monitor pets' interaction with plants and prevent them from consuming plant material, as individual animals may have different sensitivities or allergic reactions.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0-1 feet (0-30 cm)

    • Spread

      4-6 feet (120-180 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds visual interest and beauty to ponds and water gardens with its vibrant flowers and lush foliage.
    • Wildlife Attraction: Attracts and supports a variety of wildlife, including bees, butterflies, and birds that use the plant for nectar, habitat, and nesting material.
    • Water Quality Improvement: Helps to maintain the ecological balance of water bodies by absorbing nutrients from the water, which can help reduce algae growth.
    • Shade Provision: Creates shade over the water, which can help keep the water temperature cooler and provide a habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures.
    • Recreational Value: Enhances the recreational experience of water gardens and ponds for activities such as photography, relaxation, and garden enjoyment.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Nymphaea 'Darwin' has been traditionally used to reduce inflammation.
    • Anxiolytic: Some species of Nymphaea are believed to possess mild sedative properties that might help alleviate anxiety.
    • Antioxidant: Components within the plant may possess antioxidant properties, although this has not been extensively studied.
    • Analgesic: There is some traditional use of Nymphaea species for pain relief.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Water lily 'Darwin's large leaves can be used as a natural platter or decorative base for serving appetizers during pond-side garden parties.
    • The fibers from the stems and roots of water lilies can be used in the manufacture of weaving materials for artisanal crafts.
    • Water lily flowers are sometimes used in perfumery as an inspiration for floral scents due to their sweet and fresh fragrance.
    • The seeds of water lilies, like that of Nymphaea 'Darwin', can be pressed to extract oil that is used in gourmet cooking.
    • Water lilies can serve as a biological filtration system in koi ponds by absorbing excess nutrients and thus reducing algal blooms.
    • Artists and photographers may use water lilies as subjects or backdrops for their work due to their aesthetic beauty.
    • Leaves of water lilies can be used as canvases for eco-printing, a natural process where the pigments from leaves are transferred to fabric.
    • Water lily blooms are sometimes used for floating in bowls as a part of table centerpiece decorations at events.
    • In small-scale aquaculture systems, Nymphaea 'Darwin' can be included to create a more natural and supportive environment for fish.
    • The plants are popularly used as a natural tool for education and research related to aquatic plant life and pond ecosystem dynamics.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Water Lily is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Water Lily is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Peace: The Nymphaea 'Darwin', also known as water lily, often symbolizes peace due to its calm and serene appearance on the surface of ponds and lakes.
    • Purity: Water lilies are commonly associated with purity because they grow in muddy waters but emerge unspoiled and immaculate, which can represent the idea of being untouched by corruption.
    • Enlightenment: In many Eastern cultures, the water lily is a symbol of enlightenment because it rises from the murky water to bloom beautifully, which can be seen as a metaphor for attaining spiritual enlightenment despite the murky complexities of life.
    • Rebirth: The life cycle of the water lily, with its reopening every morning after closing at night, symbolizes rebirth and the idea of resurrection. This is also linked to its perennial nature, returning each year with renewed beauty.
    • Beauty: The water lily is often used to represent beauty because of its elegant and intricate blooms, suggesting a graceful and delicate sort of beauty, often with an underlying depth.

As needed
500 - 2500 Lux
Every year
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The water lily Nymphaea 'Darwin' should be grown in still water areas like ponds or water gardens. They do not require watering in the traditional sense, as they are aquatic plants. Instead, ensure that the water depth is appropriate, typically around 18 to 24 inches over the crown of the plant for mature water lilies. They should be completely submerged in water all times, and the pond should be topped off as needed due to evaporation, usually on a weekly basis, with several gallons depending on the size of the water feature to maintain the proper water level.

  • sunLight

    Hardy water lilies like Nymphaea 'Darwin' flourish best under full sunlight. They need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to encourage vigorous growth and optimal blooming. Plant them in a spot where they can receive unobstructed sunlight for the majority of the day.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The water lily Nymphaea 'Darwin' prefers warm temperatures with a range between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit for ideal growth. They can survive in temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit but should be protected from freezing. Above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant might show signs of stress.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning water lilies like Nymphaea 'Darwin' promotes healthy growth and bloom production. Remove yellow and decaying leaves as well as spent blooms regularly throughout the growing season to maintain plant health and aesthetics. The best time for a major trim is early spring or when you first place them in the pond.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the Water Lily is heavy loam garden soil with a pH between 6.0 to 7.5. Avoid using peat, compost, or potting mixes as these can float away and cloud the water.

  • plantRepotting

    Water Lilies typically need to be repotted every 1 to 2 years to ensure they have sufficient room to grow and adequate nutrients.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Water Lilies thrive best in high humidity levels, generally above 60%, as they naturally grow in aquatic environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure a large water container and full sunlight for indoor Water Lily growth.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in a pond in full sun and still water for outdoor Water Lily cultivation.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of a Water Lily (Nymphaea 'Darwin') begins with the germination of seeds or the growth of rhizomes in an aquatic environment. The rhizomes anchor into the soft substrate at the bottom of a pond or still body of water, giving rise to roots and shoots. Young leaves initially grow underwater towards the surface, eventually floating and spreading out to absorb sunlight, while roots absorb nutrients from the water bed. The plant flowers in spring or summer, producing large, fragrant blooms that can be pink, red, or white, which are pollinated by insects or possibly water movement. After pollination, the flowers close and sink underwater where the fruit matures into a spongy berry-like structure containing numerous seeds. Once mature, the fruit releases seeds that float away or sediment to begin a new cycle, while the perennial rhizome can give rise to new shoots and continue the cycle for several years.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The Nymphaea 'Darwin', commonly known as the Water Lily 'Darwin', is typically propagated by division. This process is best done in the spring as the plants are coming out of dormancy and beginning to grow vigorously. To propagate by division, remove the plant from the pond and gently separate a portion of the rhizome that includes at least one growing point or "eye." It's crucial to make a clean cut to avoid disease. The cut section can then be planted in a pot filled with aquatic planting media, topped with a thin layer of gravel to prevent the soil from washing away, and then placed back into the pond at an appropriate depth, usually between 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 centimeters), to allow the leaves to float on the surface. This will encourage the new plant to establish and grow into a separate, full water lily.