Useful Plant Guide
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Water Lily

Water Lily

Nymphaea odorata


These plants have large, triangular leaves that float on the water’s surface, large, fragrant flowers that are usually white, or red, and thick, fleshy rhizomes that grow in the mud.

Habitat and Distribution

Water lilies are found throughout much of the temperate and subtropical regions.

Edible Parts

The flowers, seeds, and rhizomes are edible raw or cooked. To prepare rhizomes for eating, peel off the corky rind. Eat raw, or slice thinly, allow to dry, and then grind into flour. Dry, parch, and grind the seeds into flour.

Other Uses

Use the liquid resulting from boiling the thickened root in water as a medicine for diarrhea and as a gargle for sore throats.

Steve's notes:

Watch for water lily in beaver ponds. The roots are easy to collect, as long as it's warm enough to get in the water.


The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Water Lily