Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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YELLOW WATER LILY
An occasional water lily of ponds and stream margins and slow moving rivers thoughout the peninsula plus Wakulla County. The range extends through the southeastern coastal plain into Texas and Arizona.
The showy yellow flowers of Nymphaea mexicana are held above the water and the floating leaves on thick peduncles. Flowers have 4 sepals, many petals and many stamens. The leaves are often nearly circular, and they are narrowly cleft from the margin to the center, with the flaps overlapping. The upper surface of the leaves are bright green in summer, often with dark splotches, then turning greenish-purple in the winter. The undersides are reddish-purple.
Yellow water lilies were probably more numerous before the proliferation of the invasive water hyacinth. Now that water hyacinths are being better controlled, the water lilies and other native aquatic plantsa appear to be making a comeback.
The University of Florida, IFAS has information including a video about yellow water lilies on the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants website.