Nymphaea tetragona (Pygmy Water Lily)

Nymphaea tetragona, commonly known as the Pygmy Water Lily, is a charming perennial aquatic plant that adds beauty to water gardens and ponds. This aquatic gem is characterized by its round, mid-green leaves and delicate white to pinkish flowers.

Nymphaea Tetragona (pygmy Water Lily)

Here’s how to grow and care for the Pygmy Water Lily:


  • Pygmy Water Lily features round leaves that are typically 1-5 inches long (2-12 cm). The leaves may sometimes display mottling in red-brown to purple.
  • Floating gracefully on the water’s surface, the leaves serve as a lovely backdrop for the enchanting flowers.
  • The fragrant, cup-shaped flowers of this water lily are white to pinkish, with a yellow-centered bloom. Each flower consists of 7-15 scalloped petals that surround a prominent cluster of golden stamens.
  • The flowers are slightly fragrant and open in the afternoon, closing in the evening.

Growth and Landscape Use:

  • Pygmy Water Lily typically reaches a height of 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) and spreads to a width of 16-18 inches (40-45 cm).
  • This water lily thrives in full sun and should be planted in rich soil in still water. It prefers a pH range between 6 and 7. It’s best grown in water with a depth of 6-12 inches (15-30 cm).
  • Fertilize with a slow-release fertilizer on a monthly basis to support healthy growth.
  • Pygmy Water Lily is an ideal addition to small ponds, water gardens, or containers in sunny and sheltered locations.

Maintenance and Care:

  • This water lily reproduces by seed and does not divide vegetatively.
  • While it is generally a low-maintenance plant, be vigilant for potential pests or diseases.

Native Range:

  • Native to Northern Europe, Subarctic America, and Northwestern USA, Pygmy Water Lily can be found in various aquatic habitats such as ponds, swamps, lakes, and quiet streams in lowland and montane zones.

In summary, Nymphaea tetragona, the Pygmy Water Lily, is a captivating and petite aquatic plant that thrives in sunny water gardens and ponds. With its delicate flowers and compact size, it adds a touch of elegance to aquatic landscapes and provides a delightful sight when in bloom.