Beautiful, fragrant and exotic-looking flowers which stand proud of the water and of their floating leaves make this a very special aquatic plant. These perennial plants are anchored to the mud at the bottom of slow-flowing, unpolluted watercourses or ponds by a root system of rhizomes. In June, July and August, the 'Lily-white' flowers (15-20cm across) which only open in full sunshine have 20 or more oval shaped petals backed by 4 to 6 large greenish sepals. At their centre are numerous golden yellow stamens. The deep leaves (10-30cm across), which float just on or slightly below the water's surface, are almost circular except for the split to the stalk, and the lobes do not overlap. This is a native plant belonging to the family Nymphaeaceae.
I first identified this wildflower on the Upper Lake at Glendalough, Co Wicklow in 1976 and I photographed it there in 2010.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre