Spatterdock Nuphar advena: A Yellow Water-lily

Spatterdock, Nuphar avenda

Spatterdock, Nuphar avenda, a yellow water lily in Lake Poygan, Wisconsin

Other Name: Yellow Water-Lily, Bull-head lily, Yellow Pond-Lily

Synonym: Nuphar lutea

Family: Water-Lily, Nymphaeacea

Wetland Indicator Status: OBL

Spatterdock, (Nuphar avenda), sometimes referred to as yellow water-lily (which is actually a different species), can be differentiated between our other common species– white water-lily—  when not in flower, by its heart-shaped leaves and stems more oval in cross-section.  White water-lily leaves are more circular, as are their stems.  All water-lily leaves have a cleft.  Water lilies are some of those pretty “weeds” that most people like, or at least are more likely to tolerate.  The other reason people tolerate and even love water lilies is because they often hold largemouth bass, northern pike and other gamefish.  Lily pads are home to many species of insects, and later in the summer you can see holes were they have been feeding.  Water-lilies are sometimes confused with American lotus which often emerges out of the water on its stalk, and its leaves have no cleft.  Water-lilies are not related to true lilies.

Muskrats and American Beavers consume the thick rhizomes (roots) of spatterdock which resemble tubers, and look something like long pineapples.  The rhizomes were eaten by some Native American tribes, and the Iroquois hung dried up rhizomes to keep witches away.  The roots and other parts of this lily were used in folk medicine to treat a variety of ailments.

Spatterdock Flower

Closeup of a Spatterdock Flower