N. alba grows in lakes, ponds, the backwaters of rivers or large ditches, and occasionally in mires. It tolerates a wide range of water chemistry but lacks submerged leaves and is therefore vulnerable to disturbance by boats. Generally lowland, but reaching 405 m at Dock Tarn (Cumberland) and formerly 480 m at Angle Tarn (Westmorland).
The native range of N. alba in our area has been obscured by introductions, and all records are mapped as if they are native. The increased frequency in S.E. England since the 1962 Atlas perhaps reflects the recording of such alien populations, which also include hybrids and cultivars.
European Temperate element.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 11
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.8
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1090
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1511
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 340
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 5
Atlas Change Index: 1.02
Weighted Changed Factor: 24
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1989)
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1997. Aquatic plants in Britain and Ireland.