Aquatic, glabrous herb. Leaves with very long petioles, arising from a rhizome rooted in soil; blades floating on water, suborbicular, 10-45 cm long, green above, usually purple-mottled below, the veins raised on lower surface, the margin prominently toothed, the sinus deep. Flowers to ca 15 cm diam at anthesis, long-pedunculate, opening diurnally, held somewhat above surface of water (buds below surface); sepals 4-8, greenish with purple striations, 6-10 cm long; petals white, slightly shorter and more numerous than sepals, blunt at apex; stamens numerous, the outer progressively longer, the connective produced above, the innermost stamens usually folded over the bowl-shaped surface of carpels; stigmas slender, radiating from center, 5-7 mm long. Fruits 2-3 cm broad, maturing beneath water, irregularly dehiscent; seeds many, subglobose, ca 1 mm diam, strigillose, indurate. Croat 5715. Uncommon, in quiet waters on the south edge of the island. Flowers seen from February to July on BCI; elsewhere in Central America no seasonal variation is obvious from specimens. Fruit maturity time uncertain. Development of the flower primordia is very slow and may require three to four years for flowers to develop fully (Cutter, 1957). The bee Trigona cupira have been seen in great numbers collecting pollen from this species.