Nuphar variegata Durand (Durand) E.O. Beal
variegated yellow pond-lily (spatterdock; yellow pond-lily)
Nymphaeaceae (Water-lily family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Michael Wigle     (Photo ID #13559)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Nuphar variegata
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial aquatic herb from a thick large rhizome; stems thick, fleshy, submerged or emersed, 1-2 m long.
Floating or submerged, long-stalked, the stalks 1-2 m long, appearing alternate from the rhizome, blades heart-shaped, 10-40 cm long, 6-30 cm wide, leathery.
Inflorescence of solitary, large, waxy, floating flowers on long stalks arising from the rhizome; petals yellow (with reddish or greenish tinges), 10-20, smaller than the sepals and the numerous yellow or reddish-purple stamens; sepals usually 6 or 9, 2.5-6 cm long, the outer greenish and shorter than the inner yellow ones, thick.
Berry-like capsules, oval, leathery, rupturing irregularly; seeds numerous in a jelly-like seed mass, the seeds 4-5 mm long.
Two species occur in BC:

1. Sepals usually 6, 2.5-3.5 cm long; stamens yellow; seeds about 5 mm long................... N. variegata (Durand) Beal

1. Sepals usually 9, (3) 3.5-6 cm long; stamens reddish or purplish; seeds about 4 mm long................... N. polysepala (Engelm.) Beal

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Nuphar variegata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
706 667 1058
Slope Gradient (%)
0 0 1

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
8 8 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

ICH(1), SBS(9)

Habitat and Range

Ponds and slow-moving streams in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; ssp. polysepala - common in BC south of 55æ N, rare in NW BC; ssp. variegata - infrequent in E BC; ssp. polysepala - N to AK, YT and NT and S to SD, CO and CA, ssp. variegata - N to YT and NT, E to NF and S to DE, OH, NE, MT and N ID.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Nuphar advena var. fraterna (Mill. & Standl.) Standl.
Nuphar lutea subsp. variegata (Durand) E.O. Beal
Nuphar variegatum
Nymphaea fraterna G.S. Mill. & Standl.