Spatterdock (Nuphar variegatum)

Spatterdock illustration

Common names: Yellow water lily, yellow cow lily, pond lily.

Location: Sheltered areas; shallow waters with muck or silt bottoms.

Description: Rooted plant with bright yellow flower that extends slightly above the surface; flower is surrounded by a heart-shaped leaf; leaf is grass-green colored, 8 to 16 inches long, and may float or extend above the water surface; petiole (leaf stalk) is mostly below the surface.

Hints to identify: Flower forms a yellow "ball" with petals that curve inward; flower rises several inches above water.

Importance of plant: Fruits are eaten by waterfowl and muskrats; the underwater roots contain starch and are edible.

Management strategy: See DNR regulations. Because spatterdock is a valuable and decorative plant, removing it may allow less-desirable plants to move in. If removal is necessary, herbicides or boat traffic provide adequate access.

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