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Nymphoides peltata - Fringed Water-lily

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asterales - Family: Menyanthaceae

Nymphoides peltata, Fringed Water-lily, Ceredigion, Wales

Despite its common name, this is not a relative of the large blousy water-lilies that adorn so many garden ponds, especially in the grounds of stately homes. It is, in fact, a close relative of the equally lovely Bogbean, Menyanthes trifoliata.

Description

Nymphoides peltata, Fringed Water-lily, is a distinctive plant when it is in bloom. Long, thin stems bear small oval or heart-shaped floating leaves, while the yellow flowers have five reggedly-fringed petals. Each individual flower lasts but a single day.

Fringed Water-lily, Wales

Fringed Water-lily is a perennial plant.

Nymphoides peltata, Fringed Water-lily, closeup of flowers

Distribution

In Britain and Ireland Fringed Water-lily is mainly a southern species, while in the north of England and in Scotland it is mainly confined to coastal districts; however, it is difficult to determine whether this plant is native to many areas because so many commercially-produced plants have been discarded from garden ponds. This wetland wildflower is native to much of mainland Europe and East Asia.

Fringed Water-lily in a garden pond

Habitat

Fringed Water-lily is found in shallow ponds, canals and very slow-flowing rivers.

Blooming Times

In Britain the first flowers of Fringed Water-lily usually appear in late June, and plants produce a succession of new flowers daily through to September.

Fringed Water-lily opens from the bottom of the spike

Etymology

The generic name Nymphoides means similar to a Nymphaea, the genus of the various Water-lilies. The specific epithet peltata refers to a round shield andcomes from the leaf shape and its near central stalk attachment.

Similar Species

Fringed Water-lily is unlikely to be confused with any other yellow-flowered species. Its nearest lookalike is probably Bogbean, Menyanthes trifoliata, a white-flowered aquatic plant which, despite its common name, is not actually a bean.

The Fringed Water-lily specimens shown on this page were photographed in West Wales during July.


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