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Also known as Beaver Root, this aquatic plant is well adapted to it's environment. The leaves are round and have a waxy, water repellent coating on the upperside, this helps to prevent tearing. The flowers, which open during the day and close at night, float in the water. As their name suggests, they have a strong fragrance. Once the flower has been pollinated, the developing fruit matures under the water. This plant is often grown in aquatic gardens, and in the west it is considered invasive.
This beautiful and distinctive plant is found growing anywhere from Central America to Northern Canada. It grows in shallow lakes, marshes, ponds and slow moving waters.
There were a significant number of these lovely flowers in the local marsh this summer. During a very hot and humid day, I went out to take photos and spotted the beautiful white blooms floating in the water. It was quite bright out and since the flowers are so white, they reflected a lot of sunlight. I don't recall seeing so many in one place before.