Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Nuphar variegata Dur.
NYMPHAEACEAE (Water Lily Family)
EtymologyNuphar is derived from its Arabic name, nufar; variegata is Latin for variegated.
Synonyms (Common Name)Yellow Water Lily, Yellow Pond Lily, Cow Lily
DescriptionA perennial aquatic, floating herb, spatterdock has bright yellow, globe-shaped flowers that rise a few inches above the surface of the water. Its large "lily pad" leaves are oval to heart-shaped. Leaves and flowers grow on stalks that rise from thick, horizontal rhizomes embedded in the mud.
Wetland indicator statusOBL
LeavesFloating, large (to 10" long and 2/3 as wide), oval with rounded tip; notched at base, basal lobes rounded to form a heart shape, lobes often overlap; prominent center vein.
Flower/InflorescenceYellow, globe-shaped, 3-4" wide; 6 petal-like sepals; borne singly on stalks that rise from leaf axils and protrude 3-4" above water surface.
Flowering PeriodJune-September
FruitBerry-like with many seeds, oval, not fleshy; ripens under water.
HabitatPonds, lakes, margins of slowly flowing streams.
RangeNewfoundland to British Columbia; south to Delaware, Iowa and Idaho.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett