Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Nuphar polysepala - Yellow Pond-lily


"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 -20oC [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]



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