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A picture of a Least Waterlily

Least Waterlily

Nuphar pumila

Also known as

Least Water Lily, Small Yellow Pond-Lily

Nymphaea in Červený Újezd by Yalagch (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Full Shade
Moderate care
Frequent watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Least Waterlily

A close up of some green Nuphar pumila leaves and yellow flowers
Some Nuphar pumila plants
A hand holding a yellow Nuphar pumila flower
A close up of a pond

Least Waterlily Overview

Nuphar pumila is an aquatic perennial species that forms a thick rhizome, from the Nymphaeaceae family. This species is sometimes known as a dwarf water lily due to its small size compared to other species such as Nuphar lutea. Commonly known by the names small Small Yellow Pond-Lily, Least Waterlily and Least Water Lily. This floating, water plant is small and suits growing in medium to large ponds. It produces golden-yellow, cup-shaped flowers with between 4-6 petals, the flowers are held above the water surface, they measure around 2cm across and are pollinated by flies. It can make a good surface pond cover, with the leaves covering up to 60cm across the surface. The surface leaves are large and oval in shape, with smaller submerged leaves having a more round shape. The yellow flowers appear in the summer, usually between June to August in the UK. It grows well in partial shade but better with more light and still or slow moving water, place at a depth of between 15-45cm.

How to propagate Least Waterlily


Propagate by division.

Special features of Least Waterlily

Attractive flowers

Wet sites

Other uses of Least Waterlily

Grown for the floating foliage and yellow flowers.