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PlantFiles: Hardy Water Lily, Waterlily
Nymphaea odorata 'Arc-en-Ciel'

Family: Nymphaeaceae (nim-fee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nymphaea (NIM-fee-uh) (Info)
Species: odorata (oh-dor-AY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Arc-en-Ciel

» View all varieties of Waterlilies

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USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
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:
Flowers are fragrant
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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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive WVKim On Mar 5, 2010, WVKim from Petersburg, WV wrote:

This was one of the first lilies I put in my pond. I have had this lily for 9 yrs!

Positive LouAnn707 On Jun 16, 2004, LouAnn707 from Saint Simons Island, GA wrote:

Beautiful flowers, but they are surpassed by the stunning pads. Pads often have 3 colors on them. No two pads are alike. Does not perform as well in zone 9 as a tropical, but definately worth having!

Positive magellan On Aug 2, 2003, magellan from Chicago, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

My favorite water lily, best known for it's unusually colored mottled green leaves with splashes of pink, cream and occasionally red. Day blooming, stellate flowers are pale pink fading to off-white. In my pond, Arc en Ceil has at least two blooms open per day, sometimes as many as six blooms at once! This water lily has 4-5 ft spread, and can be planted to a depth of 36"in, at which it overwinters in zone 5 and resumes growth in April.

Positive NestEggFarms On Jul 15, 2003, NestEggFarms from Alachua, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This hardy water lily is slightly fragrant and has incredibly variegated leaves and is a good bloomer. Blooms open a shell pink color & fade to white. Plant has a medium spread & requires full sun.


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

Jasper, Arkansas
Ormond Beach, Florida
Hobart, Indiana
Frederick, Maryland
Mason, Michigan
Cicero, New York
Portland, Oregon
Petersburg, West Virginia

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