Alba water lily is the only native water lily in Britain where it is found in large pools and slow moving rivers. The flowers, which often appear two to four at a time, are white with light yellow centres and reach 4-5 in (10-13 cm) across. The blooms are cuplike in shape when they first open and then become stellate (star shaped) and the petals number from twelve to twenty-eight. They have a slight fragrance on the first day only.
The leaf colour is green on top and yellowish-green underneath they also have a red tinge on the margins. The leaf is round and the sinus is usually an open ‘V’, they grow to to 8-10 in (10-13 cm) across.