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Aquatic Garden

Located beside the Jodrell Laboratory in the northeast corner of the Gardens, the present Aquatic Garden was installed in 1909.

Kew's Aquatic Garden in summer

Historical information

The Aquatic Garden replaced an earlier, more primitive, tank built in 1873. It comprises a large elongated pool, some 19 by 9 metres, along with four corner and two side tanks. The central pool was originally heated to give waterlilies a head start, but today plants grow at the ambient outside water temperature. In 1935, the central tank was repaired, re-faced and raised to provide greater depth for the water lilies.

Aquatic Garden plants

The main pool houses 40 varieties of hardy water lily, including Nymphaea ‘Masaniello’, which has pink flowers, N. odorata, which has apple-scented flowers and N. ‘Colonel A. J. Welch’, which forms new plants from its spent flowers.

The corner tanks display marginal aquatics such as sedges and rushes including the flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) and bog bean (Menyanthes trifoliata). The narrow side tanks exhibit floating aquatics.

You can see tropical water lilies growing in the Waterlily House and Princess of Wales Conservatory.

Things to look out for

Several eucalyptus trees grow around the Aquatic Garden. These include a particularly impressive mountain gum (Eucalyptus dalrympleana), which has a distinctive white trunk and branches. Newts, waterboatmen and dragonflies live in and around the Aquatic Garden too.