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Nuphar polysepala - Yellow Pond-lily



  • Origin Status: Native [E-flora]
  • Habitat / Range "Ponds and slow-moving streams in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; ssp. polysepala - common in BC south of 55 [degrees] N , rare in NW BC; ssp. variegata - infrequent in E BC; ssp. polysepala - N to AK, YT and NT and S to SD, CO and CA, ssp. variegata - N to YT and NT, E to NF and S to DE, OH, NE, MT and N ID." [IFBC-E-flora] "Ponds, shallow lakes and slow-flowing rivers[60, 187], from valleys to almost 3,000 metres in the mountains[212]. Western N. America - Alaska to California." [PFAF]


"Nuphar polysepala is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.8 m (6ft). It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, beetles." [PFAF]
"Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It can grow in water." [PFAF]


Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses

Historical Use
"The yellow pond lily was a staple food of various Native groups. According to ethnobotanists, Turner and Szczawinski, the Klamath Indians of California harvested seed-pods from a marsh that contained 10,000 acres of pond lilies. The pods were sun dried and pounded to loosen the seeds. An alternative method was to bury pods in underground pits until they fermented into a mucilaginous mass; seeds were then washed free of the husk."[Schofield]


"A water plant requiring a rich soil and a sunny position[1, 56]. It is best grown in still water up to 75cm deep but it also tolerates slow moving water[200]. Succeeds in light shade[200]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c[187]." [PFAF]


"Seed - sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse in pots submerged under 25mm of water. Prick out into individual pots as soon as the first true leaf appears and grow them on in water in a greenhouse for at least two years before planting them out in late spring. The seed is collected by wrapping the developing seed head in a muslin bag to avoid the seed being lost. Harvest it 10 days after it sinks below the soil surface or as soon as it reappears[200]. Division in May. Each portion must have at least one eye. Submerge in pots in shallow water until established[56]." [PFAF]



The information presented on this site is provided for educational purposes. Self diagnosis and treatment, without due diligence, could be harmful and is not encouraged. Some information & images may be copyright. Every effort has been made to present the information in the spirit with which it was originally presented. Some data has been omitted for legal and/or practical consideration. There is some data not covered in the scope of this project, including, but not limited to, cell culture and large-dose animal studies. I have made comparisons and links between related species which may later prove erroneous. I have not verified the information for accuracy and I accept no responsibility for its authenticity. Many of the plants presented are poisonous, have poisonous properties, or could cause illness through misuse, allergic reaction, drug interactions and environmental contaminants. Please use caution and mindfulness when harvesting plants for any use.

Page last modified on 29-01-2017