Invasive Plant

Fragrant waterlily

Nymphaea odorata

About This Species

This popular, fragrant aquatic perennial is still sold in garden and pond centers throughout the province and prized by gardeners for its classic “lily pad” look and large white or pink flowers. However, it has escaped from cultivation and established in some waterways in BC, its thick roots choking out native aquatic species, causing a risk to swimmers, impeding recreation, and restricting the movement of animals. It has the potential to spread and severely impact these sensitive aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, this species is extremely hardy and can overwinter in many regions of BC – do not be temped to use this plant in your water gardens, no matter where you live in BC.

How to Identify

Round, glossy green leaves that float on the water’s surface. Leaves are connected to the underwater rhizomes by long, slender stems. Flowers are vey showy, in white or pink, and fragrant.

Credit: R Routledge, Sault College,


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Take Action

Prevention is the best approach.

Clean, Drain, Dry

Learn about best practices

The Clean Drain Dry program empowers you to help reduce the spread of invasive plants and organisms to BC waters by following the clean, drain, dry procedure on all watercraft and equipment.



Learn about best practices

A few non-invasive alternatives to plant instead of Fragrant waterlily include:

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Help protect BC from Invasive Species.