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NUPHAR lutea

Image of Nuphar lutea

James Burghardt

Family

Nymphaeaceae

Botanical Name

NUPHAR lutea

Plant Common Name

Common Spatterdock, Yellow Pond Lily

General Description

Native across much of eastern North America, yellow pond lily is a truly common water plant that is vigorous and pretty in a naturalistic way. It thrives in both fresh and salt water environments from marshes to pond or lake edges and sluggish stream sides. It is extraordinarily cold hardy but also thrives in the Deep South. Its starchy roots are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked, and its seeds can be roasted until crunchy and eaten like popcorn.

The glossy, arrow-shaped leaves of yellow pond lily may be submerged, lie on the water's surface or extend slightly above the water from thick stems. Plants spread via submerged rhizomes (rooting underground stems) to produce large colonies over time. Yellow flowers are produced in the heat of summer. Beetles, bees and flies pollinate the blooms, and seed-filled, green, berry-like fruits that are held above the water follow.

Yellow pond lily requires full to partial sun and sites with calm, shallow water that may be fresh or salty. Plant its rhizomes directly in heavy, mucky soil or in a large submerged container filled with dense loam. If growing in climates with very cold winters, plant in water that is deep enough to remain liquid through winter. Solid ice should never reach the submerged rhizomes. Plant it in a large, submerged tub if you wish to keep plants from spreading.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 12

  • Plant Type

    Aquatics

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    North America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Ample Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes