The Fragrant Water Lily (Queen of the Lakes) (Nymphaea odorata)
The flowers of the fragrant water lily are quite a lot showier than the bull head. The flowers are larger, about 3" to 5" wide; they can be white (most common) or pink. They have many overlapping petals, in rows; and while the outside rows lie relatively flat on the bottom they stand increasingly more erect as they come together and cup a brilliant yellow center consisting of numerous stamens and pistils. The leaves are floating and can grow as large as 12" across. And now to quote Catherine Traill as she observed them on Rice Lake in the mid-19th century:
"The leaves of the pond lily are of a full-green colour, deeply tinged with red toward the fall of the year, so as to give a blood red tinge to the water; they are of a large size, round kidney shaped of leathery texture, and highly polished surface; resisting the action of the water as if coated with oil or varnish. Over these beds of water-lilies, hundreds of dragon flies of every colour, blue, green, scarlet, and bronze, may be seen like living gems flirting their pearly tinted wings in all the enjoyment of their newly found existence; possibly enjoying the delicious aroma from the odorous lemon scented flowers over which they sport so gaily."