Ornamental water-loving plants are grown in a wide range of shapes and sizes with a variety of bloom colors. Water lilies, a genus of water plants, have dozens of different varieties, each one with its own interesting design. Many water lilies have a peony to cup-shaped flower that ranges in color from pink and white to crimson and orange. They are free flowing ornamental plants that create a striking effect in the landscape.
Giant Water Lily
The giant water lily is an ornamental floating water plant. This large variety grows 4 to 6 feet wide with greenish yellow leaves. The leaves have sharp spines on the underside, and the edges are turned up to create a rim. The underside of the giant water lily is a coppery red color, and the top side a greenish-crimson color. Giant water lilies are night blooming plants that have a double creamy white flower that grows 9 to 12 inches wide. On the second day the flower turns pink, then reddish-purple on the third day. Giant water lilies are overly fragrant plants that require a large enough space to float and grow. These giant lilies create a commanding presence in the landscape.
Water poppies are ornamental plants to grow in a water garden for bright bursts of color. Water poppies have dark green leaves that are heart-shaped and shiny. They range from 2 to 4 inches wide and are attached to long, trailing stems. The flowers on the water poppy are short-lived and grow over 2 inches wide. The abundant blooms are creamy yellow color with a reddish brown center. Water poppies float above the water and contrast with the bright green leaves. They prefer shallow conditions (around 6 inches deep) but can tolerate waters up to 15 inches deep, making these a versatile ornamental plant.
Water hyacinths grow up to 6 inches tall and have pale green, rounded leaves that are shiny. The rosette shape of the water hyacinth foliage contrasts with the bright flower blooms. The lavender to pale blue flowers have yellow spots that grow on 6-inch spikes. Water hyacinths require full sun and warm water temperatures to thrive. Their long, dangling and feathery roots are also quick spreaders.
The yellow dazzler is day blooming water plant with striking flowers that light up a water garden. The green leaves on the yellow dazzler grow up to 17 inches long with a spread of 6 to 8 feet, creating a focal point to any water garden. The fragrant, yellow flowers grow 8 to 10 inches wide to float above the water for a bright burst of color. Yellow dazzlers are ideal in medium to large water ponds where their large spread has room to grow.