The water lily is a perennial plant that often forms dense colonies. Leaves usually float on the surface rising on flexible stalks from large rhizomes. More round than heart-shaped, the leaves are bright green, 6 to 12 inches in diameter with a slit about 1/3 the length of the leaf.

Flowers are on separate stalks and may float or stick above the water. Spreading occurs from seeds or rhizomes. Very aggressive spreading plant once established. Will take over in depths less than 7′.

Can be brought under control with several years of chemical control.