Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asterales - Family: Menyanthaceae
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.
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 is a perennial plant.
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 is found in shallow ponds, canals and very slow-flowing rivers.
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.
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.
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.
We hope that you have found this information helpful. If so we are sure you would find our books Wonderful Wildflowers of Wales, vols 1 to 4, by Sue Parker and Pat O'Reilly very useful too. Buy copies here...