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
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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:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Ormond Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Gardeners' Notes:


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??



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!... read more


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.