Water flowers grow in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes, each in its own distinct environment. Some water flowers are capable of growing in deep water while others thrive in shallow conditions. Quick growers, water flowers spread their roots below the water to reproduce in ponds and water gardens. Their colorful and unusual blooms make a commanding landscape display.
Hardy Water Lily
Hardy water lily (Nymphaea spp. 'Comanche' ) is a water flower that thrives in ponds and water gardens. It grows 3 to 6 inches tall and has a spread of 5 to 6 feet. Its 5-inch, semi-double, cup-shaped flowers have upwardly curving petals and contrasting dark yellow stamens. The blooms start out yellow then turn bronze and copper and float just above the surface of the water. They open in the morning and come to a close in the evening. The hardy water lily blooms from May until the first frost. Its 8-inch-wide, green, rounded and speckled leaves float along the surface. It grows best in full sun to part shade and water that is 12 to 48 inches deep. Hardy water lily thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 10.
Water snowflake (Nymphoides indica) is an aquatic perennial that blooms in July and August, with each flower lasting for only one day. It grows up to 6 inches tall and has a spread of 1 to 2 feet wide. The white, 1-inch, snowflake-like blooms are made up of five-lobed corollas with contrasting yellow centers atop upright stalks and above the floating leaves. Each corolla bulb on water snowflakes is fringed with frilly hairs to add texture to the water flower. The 2- to 8-inch-wide, bright green, rounded and flat leaves of the water snowflake float on the water's surface. Water snowflakes grow best in full sun to part shade and 1 to 2 foot deep water that is sandy. Plant water snowflakes in USDA zones 8 to 11.
Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) is a water flower that grows best in USDA zones 8 to 11. It reaches up to 6 feet tall with a spreading growth habit. The lavender to pale blue flowers are spotted with yellow and grow on upright, 6-inch-tall spikes that shoot up and over the water. The pale green, balloon-like petioles on water hyacinth have a swollen or full appearance and appear in a rosette of shiny, rounded leaves. Water hyacinth requires full sun and warm water temperatures to thrive. It has long, dangling roots that are feathery. This plant can quickly become invasive.