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The flower is solitary, terminal, held above the water surface; it is hermaphrodite, 2–4 cm diameter, with five or six large bright yellow sepals and numerous small yellow petals largely concealed by the sepals.
Lake inside a deciduous forest.
Flowering is from June to September, and pollination is entomophilous, by flies attracted to the alcoholic scent. The flower is followed by a green bottle-shaped fruit, containing numerous seeds which are dispersed by water currents. The species is less tolerant of water pollution than water-lilies in the genus Nymphaea