Nymphaea 'Director George T. Moore'
Common Name: tropical water lily 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to frost
Bloom Description: Violet purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Water Plant
Flower: Showy


Easily grown in wet soil in still water in full sun to part shade. Full sun may be best, but plants will usually flower well in part shade. Plant tubers in containers in spring with the crown slightly above the soil surface. Set containers in 6-12” of water after the water temperature has warmed to about 75 degrees F. If planted in water with a temperature of less than 70 degrees F., plants may not survive or may go dormant. For best bloom, insert fertilizer tablets into container soil every 2-4 weeks. This cultivar is nonviviparous. In the St. Louis area, tropical water lilies will not survive winter outdoors. One option is grow them as annuals and simply allow them to die each fall, repurchasing new plants each spring. A second option is to remove the pot from the water garden after the first frost, hose off the tubers and allow them to dry for several days, and finally store the tubers for winter in a cool basement in jars of distilled water (50s F.) or in moist sand. Divide tubers, dust with fungicide/bactericide and pot up in spring about a month before anticipated insertion back into the water garden. Few homeowners have the greenhouse facilities to simply bring the pots indoors in fall and store in a greenhouse tub or pool for winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Nymphaea is a genus of about 50 species of herbaceous aquatic perennials found worldwide that are grown for their spectacular flowers. Winter-hardy water lilies are usually day-flowering and have flowers that float on the water. Tropical water lilies can be either day-flowering or night-flowering and generally their flowers extend above the water.

Genus name comes from the Greek word nymphaia referring to a water nymph.

‘Director George T. Moore’ is a fragrant, day-blooming, medium-sized, free-flowering, tropical water lily that features violet-purple, open star-shaped flowers (to 7-10” diameter) with yellow centers. Flowers bloom continuously from summer into fall. Each flower appears on a stalk above the water surface, opening in the morning and closing at night, and blooms for about 3-4 days. Oval-rounded, green leaves (to 10" x 12”) have some purple blotching. Leaves float on the water surface. Leaf undersides are purple with well-defined green veins. Plants will spread to 5-8’ wide.


No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf mining midges and aphids can be troublesome in some areas.


Tropical water lilies are excellent additions to water gardens, tub gardens and small ponds.