Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Blue Lotus of the Nile Lily
Nymphaea caerulea

Family: Nymphaeaceae (nim-fee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nymphaea (NIM-fee-uh) (Info)
Species: caerulea (see-ROO-lee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea
Synonym:Nymphaea capensis
Synonym:Nymphaea calliantha
Synonym:Nymphaea mildbraedii
Synonym:Nymphaea spectabilis

» View all varieties of Waterlilies

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

20 members have or want this plant for trade.

Unknown - Tell us

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Absickle On May 23, 2012, Absickle from New York, NY wrote:

So, is it absolutely necessary to plant this in a pond-like enviornment? I love the idea of growing blue lotus but I live in a concrete jungle... is there some way I can still do this??


Positive c_etude On Jun 12, 2006, c_etude from Winter Haven, FL wrote:

The seeds are exceedingly difficult. I bought a packet, grew them with a perfectly controlled temperature environment and sterilized soil and artificial UV lights. Out of a package of, say 50 (the size of grains of sand), two survived. Now once as adults is a different matter. The adult plants are easy as pie. The flowers are gracious, however, blue with yellow centers; the flowers really aren't that big, and frankly I seen a lot prettier flowers than these that can be purchased in garden shops anywhere of numerous species. Except the smell---ooooohhhh they smell GOOOOD! Somewhat like roses, but much much much better. I can understand in those ancient egyptian artworks, images of individuals carrying these flowers around constantly inhaling the heavenly scent. NO WONDER it was worshipped! I like to bend down and inhale my pond...very nice!

I love plants of ancient Egypt. It excites me to think ancient Pharohs and priests kept these plants. The flowers are not large, but quite eloquent. You don't need a pond but a five gallon container (with no holes) of good strong plastic. Fill with 3/4 good quality sterile POTTING soil (my favorite is Scotts), and the rest keep full of water...and plant...viola.
Very gracous blue flowers with yellow centers. Water daily-they, like any pond plant, do drink lots of water :-)

In a separate container made for ponds (of plastic) I have ancient Egyptian papyrus, which grow quite huge (KEEP THESE SEPARATE FROM LILLIES because the root system is quite deep and large--these are HUGE plants). This makes for quite an impressive setup. And to think Moses was kept hidden and safe with the papyrus plants :-)
And it was the PAPER used in Egypt, which also was penned the gospels (including the recently found Gospel of Judas!)..

They like full sun, and, of course, a pond environment. Once the flowers start coming...they just keep on truckin...and I can guarantee you will not be able to resist bending down and inhaling the absolutely HEAVENLY fragrances.

Positive DaraMV On Aug 5, 2004, DaraMV wrote:

Plants are somewhat hard to find but it's available from special catalogs. This waterlily is very easy to start from seeds and should bloom the same year. Nymphaea caerulea is known as the Egyptian Blue Lotus, but it's really a waterlily. In wall paintings on Egyptian ruins you can see they really loved this flower. It's fragrant with a nice fruity scent. There are wall frescoes with Egyptians smelling the blossoms. It's even thought to be narcotic. They even infused their wine with the blossoms.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ormond Beach, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Hulbert, Oklahoma

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