Nuphar variegata Dur.

bullhead pond-lily, yellow pond-lily

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Bullhead pond-lily is found in slightly acidic to basic water of lakes, slow-moving streams and pools in the northeastern United States and much of Canada. The roots are reportedly edible but contain alkaloids that render them very distasteful. There is a long history of the plant's use in herbal medicine in both North America and Europe.

Habitat

Lacustrine (in lakes or ponds), riverine (in rivers or streams)

Characteristics

Habitat
aquatic
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf position
  • some of the leaves are floating at the surface of the water
  • the leaves are all submerged underwater
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade length
70–350 mm
Petal or sepal number
  • there are seven or more petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
  • there are six petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Petal color
yellow
Specific leaf type
the leaf is not divided, rather the blade is made up of one segment
Floating leaf shape
  • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
  • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
Underwater leaf blade width
50–250 mm
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is fleshy
Underwater leaf length
70–350 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Turion length
    0 mm
  • Flowers
    Anther color
    • the anthers show no hint of a pink, reddish or purplish tint
    • there is a noticeable pink, reddish or purplish tint to the anthers
    Anther length
    3–9 mm
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Flower lower lip length
    0 mm
    Flower number
    1
    Flower position
    • the flowers are above the surface of the water
    • the flowers are floating on the surface of the water
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Inflorescence length
    25–45 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence has only one flower on it
    Inflorescence width
    25–50 mm
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of carpels
    3–35
    Ovary position
    the sepals and/or petals are attached below the ovary
    Palate on corolla
    no
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal appearance
    the petals are green and/or leafy in texture
    Petal color
    yellow
    Petal fringed edges
    the petals are not fringed
    Petal fusion
    the perianth parts are separate
    Petal hairs on inner/upper surface
    there are no hairs on the inner/upper petal surface
    Petal length
    7–9 mm
    Petal number
    At least 8
    Petal or sepal number
    • there are seven or more petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    • there are six petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    Pistil number
    1
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals resemble petals in color and texture
    Sepal length
    25–50 mm
    Sepal number
    6
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spur length
    0 mm
    Stamen number
    13 or more
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamens fused to petals
    the stamens are not fused to the petals or tepals
    Style length
    0 mm
    Style number
    0
  • Fruits or seeds
    Fruit beak length
    0 mm
    Fruit length
    20–43 mm
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is fleshy
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a berry (fleshy, with the wall enclosing one or more sections, with two or more seeds)
    Fruit width
    20–35 mm
  • Glands or sap
    Oil glands on nodes
    none of the nodes have oil glands
    Sap
    the sap is milky and opaque, and may be white or colored
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Root septa
    the roots do not have transverse septa
    Roots floating in water
    there are no clusters of roots floating in the water
    Turions
    there are no turions on the plant
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Bract position (Sparganium)
    NA
    Bract relative length
    At least 3854 mm
    Bracts
    neither the flowers nor their pedicels have bracts
    Floating leaf basal lobes
    yes
    Floating leaf blade width
    50–250 mm
    Floating leaf length
    70–350 mm
    Floating leaf shape
    • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Floating leaf tip
    the tip of the floating leaf blade is rounded, with no point
    Floral bract form
    NA
    Floral bract length
    0 mm
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade length
    70–350 mm
    Leaf blade veins
    the lateral veins radiate from the base and continue to spread away from the centerline of the leaf, or branch off the central vein at intervals
    Leaf blade width
    50–250 mm
    Leaf position
    • some of the leaves are floating at the surface of the water
    • the leaves are all submerged underwater
    Leaf special features
    none of the mentioned special features are present
    Leaf-like branch segments
    0
    Leaf-like branch shape
    NA
    Specific leaf type
    the leaf is not divided, rather the blade is made up of one segment
    Staminate bract edge (Myriophyllum)
    NA
    Stipule appearance
    NA
    Stipule fused to leaf
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on the plant
    Stipules fused around stem
    NA
    Trap-bladder length
    0 mm
    Underwater leaf blade edges
    the underwater leaf has smooth edges, without teeth
    Underwater leaf blade shape
    • the underwater leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    • the underwater leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Underwater leaf blade width
    50–250 mm
    Underwater leaf length
    70–350 mm
    Underwater leaf stalk
    yes
    Underwater leaf tip shape
    the tip of the underwater leaf is rounded, with no point
  • Place
    Habitat
    aquatic
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • in lakes or ponds
    • in rivers or streams
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem growth form
    the flowering stem is upright

Wetland Status

Occurs only in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: OBL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

Yes

Synonyms

  • Nuphar lutea (L.) Sm. ssp. variegata (Dur.) E.O. Beal
  • Nymphaea fraternal Mill. & Standl.

Family

Nymphaeaceae

Genus

Nuphar

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Nuphar variegata Dur. N

bullhead pond-lily. Nuphar lutea (L.) Sm. ssp. variegata (Dur.) E.O. Beal; Nymphaea fraterna Mill. & Standl. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Slightly acidic to basic water of lakes, slow-moving streams, backwaters, and pools.

2×3. Nuphar microphylla × Nuphar variegata Nuphar rubrodisca Morong is an infrequent hybrid of circumneutral to basic water. It is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, VT. It has been treated as a species, but it shows morphological intermediacy, poor fruit set, and lower pollen viability than other sympatric species (Padgett et al. 1998). It resembles N. microphylla in some key characteristics (e.g., short sepals, fruit constricted below stigmatic disk, anthers predominantly shorter than filaments). The hybrid is characterized by 5 or 6 sepals per flower, anthers (2–) 3–6 mm long, stigmatic disk with 8–15 stigmatic rays that terminate 0–1.6 mm from the margin, each ray separated by a shallow sinus, the constriction below the stigmatic disk 5–10 mm in diameter, petals and stamens usually persistent as remnants at the base of the fruit, and basal sinus of leaf blade 39–59 (–62)% of the length of the blade midrib (vs. sepals 5 per flower, anthers 1–3 mm long, stigmatic disk with 6–11 stigmatic rays that terminate 0–0.2 mm from the margin, each ray separated by a relatively deep sinus, the constriction below the stigmatic disk 1.5–5 mm in diameter, petals and stamens promptly deciduous, and basal sinus of leaf blade (42–) 54–90% in N. microphylla).