Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mystery of the Month - May 2016

Here we have a concept model for the proposed remake of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Or maybe it’s a piece of 1930s art glass. Perhaps a decorative fountain head for a water feature?

If I was unable to convince you with any of those suggestions, you are an astute (and skeptical) observer. What we really are presenting is the head of one of our showy aquatic flowers, the yellow pond-lily.

Nuphar seeds.

This common water plant has a good number of aliases. Common names for our featured flower include yellow waterlily, bullhead pond lily, cow lily and spatterdock. And with this plant, even the scientific name is up for debate, with many sources calling this species Nuphar variegata, and others insisting on the more cumbersome Nuphar lutea spp. variegata. Yellow pond-lily is a rooted aquatic plant, capable of growing in water up to 7 or 8 feet deep but more often found in much shallower water.

Yellow pond-lily is closely related to white waterlily (Nymphea odorata) and shares some of the characteristics that make them beloved and despised. Both are showy, attractive plants but also are capable of forming dense colonies, especially in nutrient-rich waters, that pose a significant impediment to watercraft. Yellow water lily is important to many wildlife species. Nuphar leaves and shoots are grazed by deer and other herbivores, they provide habitat for fish spawning, and the seeds are a food source for ducks and other waterfowl. Look for blooms in mid-summer to early fall.

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