White water lily – latatta bile (harvesting and storage)

Water lily white – Nymphaea alba L. The Ukrainian name is latattya bile, popular names are bila water lily.


The water lily family is Nymphaeaceae.

The rhizomes are used for medicinal purposes.

It occurs throughout Ukraine, but not often in the south. It grows in stagnant and slowly flowing waters – rivers (more often backwaters), oxbow lakes, lakes, ponds. In some places it forms thickets, more often together with a yellow capsule.

The reserves of raw materials are large (several tons of rhizomes can be harvested annually in Polissya and in the Forest-Steppe), but due to the drainage of swamps, the drying up of oxbow lakes and lakes, and the straightening of river beds, they are gradually decreasing.

Water lily is a perennial plant. Rhizomes are thick (up to 1-1.5 cm in diameter), horizontal, slightly branched, covered with scars from fallen leaves, with numerous cord-like roots. Leaves with lanceolate stipules, long petioles (up to 2-3 m) and floating rounded entire blades. Flowers up to 10-15 cm in diameter, with numerous white petals, gradually decreasing towards the center and turning into stamens. The fruit is spherical or ovoid, green, almost to the top covered with scars from the petals and stamens. The plant blooms in June-August. The fruits ripen in August-September.

Harvest rhizomes from the beginning of flowering until the autumn cooling (June – September).

Harvesting, drying, packaging and storage are carried out in the same way as yellow capsules. The same requirements apply to the quality of raw materials.

You can harvest the rhizomes of other types of water lilies: pure white water lilies – Nymphaea candida R e s l., which is distinguished by a purple stigma in white flowers, and small-flowered water lilies – Nymphaea minorijlora (S im o n to a i) Wissju 1., which has smaller flowers and leaves (respectively 4-6, 10 cm in diameter) and is occasionally found in water bodies in Polissya and in the Forest-Steppe.

The rhizomes contain the alkaloid nympheine, tannins, resins, and bitterness. Included in the collection for the preparation of Zdrenko’s mixture.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *