Hardy Water Lily, Waterlily 'Arc-en-Ciel'

Nymphaea odorata

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


Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

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:

Jasper, Arkansas

Ormond Beach, Florida

Hobart, Indiana

Frederick, Maryland

Mason, Michigan

Brooklyn, New York

Cicero, New York

Portland, Oregon

Petersburg, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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!


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!


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.


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.