Yellow Water Lily - Yellow Water Lilies


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide
Yellow Water Lily
Yellow Water Lily
(Nuphar polysepalem)
a.k.a. Yellow Pond Lily, Spatterdock, Cow-lily
The Yellow Water Lily is an aquatic perennial that grows from scaly-looking rhizomes that can grow up to 5 metres long; thick stems support the floating leaves and flowers

LEAVES:
- floating (or partially submerged)
- look like arrowheads or hearts; 10-45 cm. long
- rubbery
- on thick, round stalks that can be up to 2 metres in length
FLOWERS:
- Yellow Water Lily flowers are large (up to 10 cm. across)
- floating
- glossy wax-like and yellow (can be tinged with red or green)
- 8-17 yellow sepals arranged in a cup-shape
- 10-20 smaller yellow or greenish petals obscured by the red-brown stamens
- flower centre is a large 'knob-like' stigma
FRUIT:
- egg shaped capsules with many seeds
- ribbed and tough
- the seeds are released in a watery glob when the fruit splits
HABITAT:
- Yellow Water Lilies grow in low to mid elevations
- Yellow Water Lilies are found in shallow lakes and ponds or slow streams
- the Yellow Water Lily is widespread throughout BC.
FASCINATING FACTS:
- dried sliced or powered rhizomes fro the Yellow Water Lily had many traditional medicinal uses; a poultice of sliced rhizomes was often applied to skin ulcers, broken bones or aching joints; the powder or slices were eaten sprinkled on food
- a tea from the rhizomes was drunk - for tuberculosis, heart disease, swellings, asthma, chest pains and gonorrhea; the tea was also used as a blood tonic, general tonic or appetite stimulant
- the leaves were heated and used as a poultice for chest pains
- the Yellow Water Lily plant was mixed into a concoction for applying to cuts, bites and infections
- seeds of Yellow Water Lilies are edible

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Yellow Water Lily - Yellow Water Lilies