Description from Flora of China
Nymphaea stellata Willdenow.
Rhizomes erect, unbranched. Leaf blade elliptic-orbicular to orbicular, 7--15(--45) cm in diam., papery, abaxially glabrous, peltate a few mm from base of sinus, base cordate, basal lobes parallel to spreading, margin subentire to deeply crenate. Flower slightly emergent, 3--15 cm in diam. Calyx insertion on receptacle circular; sepals lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 2.5--8 cm, slightly veined, persistent. Petals 10--30, white tinged with purple, blue, or purple-red, linear-oblong to lanceolate, 4.5--5 cm, transition to stamens gradual. Filament of inner stamens ± as wide as anther; connective apically appendaged. Carpels only partially united, walls between locules of ovary double. Stigma rays (8--)10--30; carpellary appendages triangular-tapered. Fruit globose, 1.5--4.5 cm in diam. Seeds ellipsoid-globose, 0.5--1.3 mm, with longitudinal rows of hairs. Fl. Jul--Dec. 2n = 28, 56, 84.
In FRPS and a number of other works this species is named Nymphaea stellata . An examination of the type of N. nouchali by Verdcourt (Kew Bull. 44: 179. 1989) indicated that the name should be applied to this species, not to N. pubescens as some have done. Much work remains to be done to improve our understanding of this wide-ranging and highly variable taxon and its relationship to related taxa in Africa.
Ponds. Anhui, Guangdong, Hainan, Hubei, Taiwan, Yunnan [Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Australia].