Photos: Arne Ader
Dwarf white waterlily
Dwarf white waterlily Väike vesiroos Nymphaea candida
White waterlily Valge vesiroos Nymphaea alba
The dwarf white waterlily (Nymphaea candida) is much more common in Estonia than the white waterlily (Nymphaea alba), but it is quite difficult to distinguish the two species.
Both waterlilies are freshwater plants with large heart-shaped floating leaves. Suitable habitats are shore zones and bays in lakes, ponds, river bends, old river beds. Waterlilies tolerate polluted waters but need a warm aquatic habitat rich in nutrients. They grow in waters up to a couple of metres deep.
The flowers of the dwarf species are always bell-shaped when open. The flowers of the white waterlily open from the bud at about 7 o’clock in the morning and begin closing at about 5 o’clock in the afternoon. The flower is fully open in daytime.
The flowers of the dwarf waterlily open a few hours later but in cold and cloudy weather the buds remain closed.
Waterlilies are protected species in Estonia.