Nymphaea nouchali Burm.f.

Last updated: 23 Jul 2015

Scientific Name

Nymphaea nouchali Burm.f. 


Castalia caerulea Tratt., Castalia scutifolia Salisb., Castalia stellaris Salisb. [Illegitimate], Castalia stellate (Willd.)Blume, Leuconymphaea stellata (Willd.), Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea (Savigny)Verdc., Nymphaea nouchali var. versicolor (Sims) R. Ansari & Jeeja. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Kelipok, teratai kechil [2], seroja biru, telepok, kelipok, tunjong biru, teratai kecil, ati-ati paya [3]
English Water lily, lotus lily [2], Indian red waterlily [4]
China Yan yao shui lian [4]
India Aampal kizhangu, boga bhet, cit-ambel, indivaram, kantotakam, kumudni, luvulaya, neela thavare, nilambujanma, utampal [4]
Indonesia Tunjung [2]
Thailand Bua-phan, bua khaap (Central); nirobon (Bangkok) [2]
Philippines Lauas, pulau (Tagalog); talailo (Bisaya) [2]; lauasa, lawas, talailo, tunas [4]
Cambodia Rum' chang, pralit, mum phlong [2]
Vietnam S[us]ng lam, b[oo]ng s[us]ng, c[ur] s[us]ng [2]
Tibet U tpa la snon po, u tpa la snos po [4]
France Nénuphar bleu [2]

Geographical Distributions

N. nouchali is distributed from Africa to India and throughout South-East Asia to Australia, both wild and cultivated. [2]

N. nouchali is common throughout its distribution area, and is also found in shallow ponds, ditches and lakes up to 500 m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

N. nouchali is a member of the Nymphaeaceae family. This perennial, aquatic plant comes with cone-like tuberous rhizome. [2]

The leaves are simple, egg-shaped orbicular and sized at 10-30 cm x 8-25 cm. The blade is narrowly peltate with entire, sinuate, dentate or lobulate margins. The upper side of the leaf is green and smooth while the lower side is green, red, purple or spotted purple. Most are hairless, or sometimes finely haired. The veins are palmate. The petiole is long and stipules are present. [2]

The flowers are solitary, 8-18 cm in diametre and held 5-20 cm above the water. The pedicel is up to 1.5 m long, reddish and spongy. There are 4 sepals  adnated at base to base of the receptacle. Its inside bears the same colour as its petal. There are between 10-35 petals, many are seriated, with its inner part diminishing in size. The slightly fragrant flower is normally blue, but it can also be white, purplish blue or pink. The stamens are numerous with broad petaloid filaments on the outer part. Its receptacle has a cup-shaped apex with carpels between 10-16, immersed and forming a numerous-celled syncarpous ovary. The stigmas are radiating, yellow in colour. [2]

The fruit is berry-like and spongy, depressed globose syncarp, and 2-4 cm in diametre. The fruit ripens under water, irregularly dehiscent and has numerous seeds. [2]

The seed is greyish-white, narrowly ovoid, and 1-1.5 mm long with longitudinal ridges. Its floating habit is due to air-containing sack-like, pulpy aril with perisperm. [2]

Its seedling has one cotyledon. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing




Figure 1: The line drawing of N. nouchali [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1 Nymphaea nouchali Burm.f. [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 23 July 2015]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2384389
  2. Schmelzer GH. Nymphaea nouchali Burm.f. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 2001. p. 384-386.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 127.
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 288.