Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Nymphaea gigantea


Giant Waterlily


This beautiful waterlily has large (to 25 cm) blue-white flowers that emerge from the water. The plant is a perennial and grows from small tubers. The large circular leaves grow up to 75 cm in diameter and have toothed margins.

Where it is found

The Giant Waterlily is found in permanent water with deep mud in tropical and subtropical Australia. It occurs on the northern coast of NSW and up through Queensland.


  • Almost every part of the plant is edible. The tubers are a food staple and are eaten after roasting. The leaf and flower stalks are peeled and eaten raw. The seeds can be ground and a damper made from the flour.

Further information

Click here for further information on Nymphaea gigantea.

Nymphaea gigantea
Flower of the Giant Waterlily (Nymphaea gigantea). Mot of the plant is edible, including the leaf and flower stalks, which can be peeled and eaten raw. Photo: Surrey Jacobs.

Nymphaea gigantea: leaves and flowers, habit, cross section through flower.