Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hardy Water Lily, Waterlily
Nymphaea 'Lily Pons'

Family: Nymphaeaceae (nim-fee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nymphaea (NIM-fee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Lily Pons
Additional cultivar information: (aka Lilypons)

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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
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 Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


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

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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to view:

By NestEggFarms
Thumbnail #1 of Nymphaea  by NestEggFarms


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive visualgardener On Sep 22, 2010, visualgardener from Frederick, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

I haven't grown this in person, but as a Pond Tech at Lilypons Water Gardens, I think I can speak a small volume for this cultivar.

The Lily Pons is currently named for the opera star, around the turn of the century, but used to be "Perry's Double Pink." Charles Thomas, Lilypons president at the time, took a liking to it asked a favor of Perry's Water Gardens to get the name changed, and it's stuck.

It is a BIG blossom -- it easily hits 7" in the open ponds every summer -- but it is an infrequent bloomer. It can be expected to have a petal count over 100, and all those petals take an awful lot of work to make, so I wouldn't expect more than one blossom at a time on any one plant, especially the first year. If you give it extra space (at least a 5' round area for it to expand into) and extra fertilizer, and put it in a really big pot or in an open-bottom pond, you will both see and smell this one from a fair distance. If you can grow it, DO. It is worth the effort to have this aquatic peony in your pond.

Positive NestEggFarms On Apr 2, 2004, NestEggFarms from Alachua, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a show stopper in any pond. Steady bloomer of clear pink flowers with almost 100 petals on every bloom!!Slightly fragrant.


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

Ocoee, Florida
Adamstown, Maryland
Tiverton, Rhode Island

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