Yellow Pond Lily

Nuphar luteum

Yellow Pond Lily, also called Spatterdock, is a native water lily which grows in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers. It is a perennial, which means it dies back in the winter, but grows again from the roots each Spring.

Yellow Pond Lily has thick leaves, which can be round or heart-shaped. They are large, growing up to 12 inches wide. The leaves are attached to a long stalk which extends down into the water and into the mud below. When the water level drops (especially in rivers, streams, or marshes affected by tides), the leaves will be above the water. When the water level rises again, the leaves will float on the water.

The flowers of this plant are yellow, with thick petals. Fruit are shaped like pods and contain many seeds.

J.E. and Bonnie McClellan, California Academy of Sciences

The stalks of Yellow Pond Lily are attached to a type of underground stem with roots, called a rhizome. Rhizomes are buried deep in the mud underwater. Rhizomes can multiply and grow new rhizomes. This allows Yellow Pond Lilies to grow quickly and form huge colonies.

The stalks connecting leaves and flowers to rhizomes can grow six feet long.

In the Fall, leaves and flowers turn brown quickly and die. The rhizome lives on in the mud.

Yellow Pond Lilies provides great cover for wildlife, especially fish, aquatic insects, snakes, turtles, frogs, crayfish, salamanders, and other water creatures.

Beaver and Common Muskrats eat the rhizomes, and Beaver also eat the leaves.

Waterfowl, such as Wood Ducks, Mallards, and Canada Geese eat the seeds of Yellow Pond Lily.

Frogs, salamanders, and aquatic insects also use leaves and stems to attach egg masses.

Leaves, or lily pads, provide resting places for terrestrial (land) insects, such as dragonflies and bees.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Beaver

Largemouth Bass

Common Duckweed

Tussock Sedge C

Muskrat

Channel Catfish

Common Cattail

Wood Duck

Bluegill

Lizard's Tail

Mallard

Creek Chub

Pickerelweed

Canada Goose

American Eel

Arrow Arum

Common Snapping Turtle

Black Crappie

Common Reed

Stagnant Pond Snail

Bullfrog

Green Algae

Crane Fly

Ebony Jewelwing

Long-leaf Pondweed

Eastern Painted Turtle

Southern Leopard Frog

Hydrilla

Green Darner

Greater Bladderwort

Crayfish

Marsh Bulrush

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Copperhead

Northern Water Snake

Common Snapping Turtle

Eastern Painted Turtle

Water Flea

Common Carp

Muskrat

Rotifer

Relationship to Humans:

Yellow Pond Lilies are often grown in ornamental ponds in gardens. Their leaves and flowers are considered beautiful by many people. They are also good wildlife attractors, since they provide shelter for many species, and are a food source for birds. The rhizomes of Yellow Pond Lilies can be eaten, and the seeds can be popped like popcorn.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Liliopsida
ORDER
Nymphaeales
FAMILY
Nymphaeaceae
GENUS
Nuphar
SPECIES
Nuphar luteum

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