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Uses

Toxic parts

One report suggests that the plant is poisonous but gives no further details[1]. The plant contains the toxic alkaloids nupharine and nymphaeine, these substances have an effect on the nervous system[2].

Edible uses

Notes

Root - cooked. Eaten when several years old[3][4]. It contains up to 40% starch, 6% protein[5][6]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[5].

Seed - cooked. It contains about 47% starch[6].

Unknown part

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Nymphaea alba.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The rhizome is anodyne, antiscrofulatic, astringent, cardiotonic, demulcent and sedative[7][5][8][2]. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of dysentery or diarrhoea caused by irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been used to treat bronchial catarrh and kidney pain and can be taken as a gargle for sore throats[9]. Externally it can be used to make a douche to treat vaginal soreness or discharges. In combination with slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) or flax (Linum usitatissimum) it is used as a poultice to treat boils and abscesses[9]. The rhizome is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use[9].

The flowers are anaphrodisiac and sedative[9]. They have a generally calming and sedative effect upon the nervous system, reputedly reducing the sex drive and making them useful in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and similar disorders[9]. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and uterine injection has been recorded[7].

According to one report the plant is not used in modern herbal practice, though it has been quoted as a remedy for dysentery[8].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse in pots submerged under 25mm of water. Prick out into individual pots as soon as the first true leaf appears and grow them on in water in a greenhouse for at least two years before planting them out in late spring.

The seed is collected by wrapping the developing seed head in a muslin bag to avoid the seed being lost. Harvest it 10 days after it sinks below the soil surface or as soon as it reappears[10].

Division in May. Each portion must have at least one eye. Submerge in pots in shallow water until established[11].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Nymphaea alba. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A water plant requiring a rich soil and a sunny position in still or slowly moving water[11][10]. Best grown in 2 - 2.5 metres of water[10]. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7[10]. Dislikes acid conditions according to another report.

This species is hardy to about -20°c[12]. There are two basic types of plant in this genus:-

         'crawlers' are species with horizontal roots that often spread freely, with new plants being formed at intervals along the root. These species are useful for naturalising, but they do not flower very freely in the cool summers of Britain[13].
         'clumpers' have vertical roots and form slowly spreading clumps and produce offsets around the crown. These forms flower much more freely in Britain[13].
A very ornamental plant[14]. The flowers, which only open in bright sunshine, have a soft delicate scent[15].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Nymphaea alba. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Nymphaea alba.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Nymphaea alba
Genus
Nymphaea
Family
Nymphaeaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
aquatic
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    x 3 meters
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Mabey. R. Food for Free. Collins ISBN 0-00-219060-5 (1974-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Singh. Dr. G. and Kachroo. Prof. Dr. P. Forest Flora of Srinagar. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh (1976-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.4 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.2 Chakravarty. H. L. The Plant Wealth of Iraq. ()
    7. ? 7.07.17.2 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.2 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.5 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Muhlberg. H. Complete Guide to Water Plants. E. P. Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7158-0789-7 (1982-00-00)
    12. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Matthews. V. The New Plantsman. Volume 1, 1994. Royal Horticultural Society ISBN 1352-4186 (1994-00-00)
    14. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    15. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    16. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

    "image:Nymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Nymphaea alba"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyNymphaeaceae +
    Belongs to genusNymphaea +
    Has binomial nameNymphaea alba +
    Has common nameWhite Water Lily +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part +, Root + and Seed +
    Has edible useCoffee + and Unknown use +
    Has fertility typeSelf fertile +, Flies + and Self +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone5 +
    Has imageNymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has mature width3 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnaphrodisiac +, Anodyne +, Antiscrophulatic +, Astringent +, Cardiotonic +, Demulcent + and Sedative +
    Has primary imageNymphaea alba in Duisburg.jpg +
    Has search namenymphaea alba + and white water lily +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameNymphaea alba +
    Has water requirementsaquatic +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
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    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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