Selecting white water lilies, or other white flowering or foliaged water plants...

No matter what the colour scheme, white always seems to match. Variety in white still exists, whether you seek white water lilies for a formal pond or variegated plants, with creamy-white markings. A white water garden can produce wonder and awe through the selection of plants that flower or produce a show at different times of the year.

To assist with plant selections, we have also divided the plants according to the pond depths that they are most ideally suited to. This allows you to choose white water plants for each pond planting zone (see Zone Map), helping you achieve a healthier ecological balance.

When people think of ponds and water gardens, White water lilies are generally the most recognised. Their clean, crisp appearance adds a touch of elegance to any pond or water feature. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some white water lilies are miniatures such as the Nymphaea tetragona with its starry 4cm flowers, while others look like snowballs, such as the Nymphaea ‘Gonnere’ ( producing about 60 petals).

Plants that can be substituted for white water lilies are Water Hawthorns (Aponogeton distachyos) and Water Snowflakes (Nymphoides indica). Water Hawthorns produce orchid-like white flowers and are quite unique, in that they flower in the cooler months, when most other water plants tend to go dormant. Water Snowflakes are native tropical water plants with water lily-like leaves and produce delicate white snowflake flowers.

There are an abundance of white flowering marginal water plants (Zone Two and Zone Three), such as the Lizards Tail (Saururus cernuus), Water Hyssop (Bacopa monniera) and Sheild Pennywort (Hydrocotyle verticillata). Many of these plants can spread along on the pond edges and into the pond water 20-30cm deep.

Plants with white variegations can add further interest to a pond. Their foliage may be used as accent plants or to contrast other pond foliage. One of the more striking examples is the Zebra Rush (Schoenoplectus lacustris ‘Zebrinus’). This rush can be a feature on its own with its creamy-white bands across the green stems. A great contrast to the lush tropical look of the Taros, such as Colocasia esculenta ‘Amazon Queen, with their large elephant ear leaves and dark stems.

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Alocasia macrorrhiza

Aponogeton distachyos

Bacopa monniera

Iris ensata Freckled Geisha

Iris ensata Gosan No Takara

Iris ensata Hoyden

Iris ensata Island Paradise

Iris ensata La Tosca

Iris ensata Summer Snowflake

Iris ensata White

Iris laevigata Albopurpurea

Iris laevigata Snowdrift

Mazus pumilio - White

Nelumbo nucifera Cochranes Snow White

Nymphaea Carnea

Nymphaea Gonnere Double White

Nymphaea tetragona Alba

Pontederia cordata Alba

Rhyncospora colorata

Cycnogeton procerum (syn Triglochin)

Saururus cernuus

Schoenoplectus lacustris Albescens

Schoenoplectus lacustris Zebrinus