Yellow Water Lily, Nuphar lutea

Nuphar lutea is commonly referred to as the Brandy Bottle or Yellow water lily. It is an aquatic plant and a member of the Nymphaeacae family. N. lutea is native to temperate regions of Europe, northwest Africa, and western Asia.

N. lutea grows in shallow water and wetlands. Its roots attach to the sediment while its leaves float on the surface. This plant can grow in water up to 16 feet deep. It is usually found in more shallow water than than the white water lily. Very often it can be found in beaver ponds. Since the flooded soils are oxygen deficient, the leaves will transport oxygen to the rhizome. Often there is mass flow from the young leaves into the rhizome and out through the older leaves. The rhizomes are often consumed by muskrats.

The flower is a solitary bloom held above the water’s surface. N. lutea is a hermaphrodite and measures .79 to 1.58 inches in diameter. The species has 5 or 6 bright yellow sepals and numerous small, yellow petals which are largely concealed by the sepals. Flowering occurs from June to September. It is pollinated by flies which are attracted by the alcoholic scent it produces. The flower is followed by a green bottle-shaped fruit. It contains numerous seeds which are dispersed by water currents.

Image Caption: Yellow water lily (Nuphar lutea). Credit: Hans Hillewaert/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)