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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

7. Nymphaeaceae, the Water Lily Family

1. Nuphar Small

1. Nuphar luteum (L.) Sibth. & Small -- Yellow water lily, spatterdock

Stout plants from thick, yellowish, branched rhizomes. Leaf blades floating or some often emersed, oblong to oval or subsagittate, (1)1.5-4 dm long, the basal lobes divergent to slightly overlapping; earliest leaves submersed, thin and reddish; petioles flattened and winged on the upper side. Flowers yellow, 4-6 cm across; sepals usually 6(5), spirally arranged and overlapping, greenish to yellow, usually reddish toward the base on the inside, oblong; petals oblong to spatulate, much smaller than the sepals, usually shorter than the stamens; anthers 4-7 mm long, filaments flat; stigmatic rays usually 7-16. Fruit somewhat ovoid, mostly 2-4 cm long; seeds ovoid, to 5 mm long. Jun--Aug. Shallow to deep water of quiet streams, lakes and ponds; occasional in e and c ND, e SD and the NE Sand Hills. N. variegatum Engelm., N. advenum Ait.

Northern Great Plains plants belong to subsp. variegatum (Engelm.) Beal, which ranges from Newf. to the Yukon, s to DE, n OH, n IL, IA, NE and MT.


Beal, E. O.  1956.  Taxonomic revision of the genus Nuphar of North
     America and Europe.  J. Elisha Mitch. Sci. Soc. 72:317-346.
GIF-Nuphar luteum
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Nuphar luteum subsp. variegatum.  

Return to Family -- Nymphaeaceae - The Water Lily Family
Next Species -- Nymphaea odorata Ait. -- Fragrant white water lily

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