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Marcus, Joseph A.
Nuphar lutea (L.) Sm.
Yellow pond-lily, Cow lily, Spatter dock, Yellow cow lily
Synonyms: Nuphar lutea ssp. advena, Nuphar advena, Nuphar lutea ssp. variegata, Nuphar variegatum
USDA Symbol: NULU
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
The leaves of this coarse, rhizomatous aquatic perennial are quite variable and may be wide or rather narrow and submersed or floating. The single, yellow, fleshy flower, with its prominent, lobed stigma is the best known feature. Yellow pond-lily can grow in water up to 16 in. deep.
There are a number of subspecies of Nuphar lutea.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Green Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY Canada: NB
, PE Native Distribution:
Lab. to AK, s. to FL, TX & B.C. Native Habitat:
Ponds; lakes; bayous, Ponds, bogs, streams and springs in the Edwards Plateau and east Texas. USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand
BenefitUse Food: Native
people gathered the thick rootstocks in winter and spring, boiled or roasted them for several hours, then peeled them to expose their sweet, gluey contents. Rootstocks were also sliced, dried and ground into meal or flour. The starchy seeds can be difficult to remove, so the tribes rotted the fruits until the pods became soft. The heated seeds swell like poor-quality popcorn, making a crunchy snack. (Kershaw) Conspicuous Flowers:
Birds Deer Resistant:
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Cuttings
Description: Divide bulblets from plants and grow in watertanks. Also can grow from slices of root with buds.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0900
Collected Jun 24. 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
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Record Modified: 2013-04-20
Research By: TWC Staff, MAC