Posted on Leave a comment

Water lily – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Nymphaea odorata fragrant water lily flower

About the Water lily (Nymphaea odorata) plant

Water Lily plants, also known as Beaver Root, are aquatic plants that are rooted in the mud from branched roots with long stems and have large, round (typically notched) leaves that float on the surface of the water.  The Water Lily’s leaves have a waxy, waterproof upper coating, often with a notch where the stem connects.  They have large, many-petaled, fragrant flowers that are usually white (sometimes red) with prominent yellow stamens in the center of the flower.

Where to find water lily plants

Water lilies are found throughout much of the temperate and subtropical regions.  Look for them in shallow lakes, ponds, and in stagnant areas of slow-moving rivers.

Edible parts of water lily plants

The flowers, seeds, and rhizomes are edible raw or cooked. To prepare rhizomes for eating, peel off the corky rind. Eat it raw, or slice thinly, allow to dry, and then grind into flour. Dry, parch, and grind the seeds into flour.

Other uses for water lily plants

Use the liquid resulting from boiling the thickened root in water as a medicine for diarrhea and as a gargle for sore throats.

Water lily (Nymphaea odorata) picture gallery

Image Credits

Water lily Nymphaea odorata via Wikimedia Commons with usage type - Creative Commons License. March 12, 2012
American White Waterlily Nymphaea odorata via Wikimedia Commons by Ryan Hodnett with usage type - Creative Commons License. June 11, 2018
American White Water lily Nymphaea odorata via Wikimedia Commons by Ryan Hodnett with usage type - Creative Commons License. September 13, 2018
American White Water lily Nymphaea odorata via Wikimedia Commons by Ryan Hodnett with usage type - Creative Commons License. July 14, 2018
American White Water lily Nymphaea odorata via Wikimedia Commons by Ryan Hodnett with usage type - Creative Commons License. July 14, 2018
Nymphaea odorata fragrant water lily flower via Wikimedia Commons by Dr. Thomas Barnes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with usage type - Public Domain
Water lily Nymphaea odorata flowers via Wikimedia Commons with usage type - GNU Free. 2004
Water lily Nymphaea odorata via Wikimedia Commons by R.A. Nonemmacher with usage type - Creative Commons License. June 7, 2015
Water lily Nymphaea odorata flower and leaves via Wikimedia Commons by Cephas with usage type - Creative Commons License. July 12, 2011
Water lily Nymphaea odorata leaves via Wikimedia Commons by Ryan Hodnett with usage type - Creative Commons License. July 29, 2020
Water lily Nymphaea odorata illustration via Wikimedia Commons with usage type - Public Domain. 1814
Water lily Nymphaea odorata via Wikimedia Commons by Michel Craig with usage type - Creative Commons License. June 23, 2014
White Water lily closeup of flower via Wikimedia Commons by Sara Kothari with usage type - Creative Commons License. June 3, 2016
Water lily Nymphaea odorata via Wikimedia Commons by Chiring Chandan with usage type - Creative Commons License. August 16, 2021
Pond full of Water lillies via Wikimedia Commons with usage type - Creative Commons License. August 25, 2013
Cat tail, pondweed, American lotus, water hyacinth, arrowhead, and water lily aquatic plants illustration via Wikimedia Commons by New International Encyclopedia with usage type - Public Domain. 1902

Featured Image Credit

Nymphaea odorata fragrant water lily flower via Wikimedia Commons by Dr. Thomas Barnes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with usage type - Public Domain
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *