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Key to Nymphaea

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1 Outer surface of sepals flecked with short dark lines; [subgenus Brachyceras].
image of plant
Show caption*© Ricard Busquets Reverte, some rights reserved (CC BY), uploaded by Ricard Busquets Reverte
..2 Leaf margins dentate to spinose-dentate; petals white; anther connective appendage projecting > 3 mm beyond the anther
image of plant
Show caption*© Keith Bradley
..2 Leaf margins entire to sinuate; petals pale violet (to nearly white); anther connective appendage projecting < 1 mm beyond the anther
1 Outer surface of sepals uniformly greenish, reddish, or yellowish.
....3 Leaf margins sinuate-dentate.
......4 Petals blue, lavender, or purple; plant day-blooming; lower leaf surface glabrous; [subgenus Brachyceras]
......4 Petals white; plant night-blooming (flowers closing about noon); lower leaf surface sparsely to densely puberulent; [subgenus Lotos]
....3 Leaf margins entire (smoothly curved).
........5 Plant night-blooming; leaf with prominent cross veins near the center (making a venation pattern similar to the orb web of an orb-web-weaving spider); appendages at edge of stigmatic disk clavate-thickened at tip; [subgenus Hydrocallis]
........5 Plant day-blooming; leaves without prominent cross veins; appendages at edge of stigmatic disk tapered or boat-shaped; [subgenus Nymphaea].
..........6 Petals yellow; plants producing stolons
..........6 Petals white (to pink); plants not producing stolons.
............ 7 Petiole solid-colored; leaf length/width ratio (length measured from petiole attachment to tip of leaf, along midvein) (0.44-) avg. 0.56 (-0.71); two leaf lobes with rounded lobe tips; lower leaf surface reddish-purple
............ 7 Petiole striped; leaf length/width ratio (0.55-) avg. 0.63 (-0.73); leaf lobes with pointed tips; lower leaf surface green
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