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Euryale ferox

Phonetic Spelling
yoo-RY-al-ee FER-oks
Description

Euryale ferox, or Gorgon Plant, is a perennial species of water lily and the only extant species of Euryale. It is typically found in medium to large water gardens. It is easily propogated from seeds, but is nonviviparous (that is, does not germinate while attached to the parent plant). Euryale ferox has sharp spines on its stems and leaves and the leaves are dark green with purple veins. Individual leaves are 4 to 5 feet long and the plant itself will spread to a dramatic 15 foot flat pad on the water. The plant's flowers take the form of an inner row of white petals and an outer row of deep violet petals. It typically flowers during the day, but note that the water garden requires a depth of 3 to 8 inches of water for best flower production. The plant prefers still water or, if grown in soil, a rich medium. However, it will not do well in the shade and is not cold hardy. 

When cultivated in temperate greenhouses, the plant is often grown as an annual. It is unlikely to succeed outdoors in cool climates, at least when grown as a perennial.

The plant produces starchy, white seeds and it is frequently cultivated as an edible plant in China and India. The fruit is soft and pulpy, about the size of a small orange and eaten in China as a cooling tonic food. The seeds are usually roasted, which causes them to pop like popcorn then eaten. In India, seeds are used in cooking, especially to make a porridge or pudding called  kheer.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known problems or issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#water garden#perennials#edible nuts#edible fruits#edible seeds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#water garden#perennials#edible nuts#edible fruits#edible seeds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euryale
    Species:
    ferox
    Family:
    nymphaeaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Fruit and seeds are eaten.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northern India to Southern Russia and the Far East
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
    Edibility:
    Fruit are consumed raw. Each fruit contains from 8 to 15 seeds that are usually roasted and then eaten.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Water Plant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Oval
    Spreading
    Appendage:
    Spines
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    The seed is about the size of a pea, each fruit containing from 8 to 15 seeds. The seed is used as a source of starch.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Inner row of white petals and an outer row of deep violet petals; flowers during the day, but water garden medium requires a depth of 3 to 8 inches of water for best flower production.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Rough
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are 4 to 5 feet long. Plant spreads to 15 foot flat pad on the water. Leaves have sharp spines. The leaves are round with a leaf stalk attached in the centre of the lower surface. The underside of the leaf is purplish, while the upper surface is green. The leaves have a quilted texture, although the stems, flowers, and leaves which float on the surface are covered in sharp prickles. Other leaves are submerged.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems have sharp spines.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen