Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Nuphar luteum (L.) Sibth. & J.E. Smith
- Family: Water-lily (Nymphaeaceae)
- Flowering: May-October
- Field Marks: This species has leathery, shiny leaves deeply notched at one end and club-shaped flowers with 5 or 6 (9) concave green to yellow sepals that appear as petals and
numerous small, stamen-like petals.
- Habitat: Swamps, ponds, lakes, pools.
- Habit: Aquatic perennial herb from thick, horizontal, cylindrical rhizomes.
- Stems: Only present as rhizomes.
- Leaves: Floating or emersed, simple, oblong to ovate, heart-shaped at the base, the basal lobes sometimes overlapping, smooth above, smooth or finely hairy below, up to 1 foot long, up to 10 inches wide, with terete or somewhat flattened stalks; submerged leaves generally thinner, more flaccid, and with wavier margins than the floating leaves.
- Flowers: Solitary, yellow, up to 4 inches across, on long, smooth stalks that raise the flower above the water.
- Sepals: 5-6, free from each other, concave, the outer ones green, the inner ones yellow with a green tip.
- Petals: Numerous, oblong, yellow, smaller than the sepals.
- Stamens: Numerous, in several rows.
- Pistils: Ovary disk-shaped, yellow, with up to 26 stigmatic rays.
- Fruits: Leathery, ovoid, up to 2 1/2 inches long, with a thick, short neck; seeds ovoid, up to 1/3 inch long.
- Notes: This is a variable species. Several other species have been segregated in the past.
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