YELLOW WATER-LILY

BRANDY BOTTLE

Nuphar lutea

Water-Lily Family [Nymphaeaceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8green
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
stem
stem8round
 
smell
smell8alcohol
alcohol

29th July 2007, Hollingworth Canal, Daisy Nook, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


18th Aug 2005, Bridgewater Canal, Trafford. Photo: © RWD


14th July 2007, Bridgewater Canal, Eccles, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


22nd June 2007, Bridgewater Canal, Eccles, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


14th July 2007, Bridgewater Canal, Eccles, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Showing the underside of the leaf.


15th June 2008, Sandholes, Greater Manchester. Photo: © Martin Rosenfield
Flowers initially held high above water level.


2nd Aug 2005, Appley Bridge, Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Photo: © RWD


5th July 2012, Bridgewater Canal, Altrincham. Photo: © RWD
The 'flask' is already forming within.


5th July 2012, Bridgewater Canal, Altrincham. Photo: © RWD
As it matures the flower, held aloft, gradually sinks


5th July 2012, Bridgewater Canal, Altrincham. Photo: © RWD
When mature and the fruit is fully formed the flower is already touching the waters surface. The petals will then drop off revealing a naked 'flask'.


6th Sept 2005, Rufford Branch of Leeds & L/pool Canal. Photo: © RWD
The fruits are flask shaped, and with the alcohol effusion give rise to the nick-name 'Brandy Bottle' for this plant.


6th Sept 2005, Rufford Branch of Leeds & L/pool Canal. Photo: © RWD
The fruits are flask shaped.


Easily confused with : Fringed Water-Lily but Fringed Water-lily has much smaller leaves, and a paper-thin fraying petals, whereas yellow water lily has much larger leaves and much thicker yellow petals.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics : It is called Brandy Bottle because the flowers smell of brandy, and at the fruit stage in the development look similar to bottles. The reason why the flowers smell of alcohol has to do with the anoxic conditions in a lake in which it is growing: without oxygen the sugars in the roots cannot be converted to energy and carbon dioxide via the normal metabolic process for plants, and have to proceed via a highly in-efficient alternative synthesis where it is converted to alcohol, as does yeast. But alcohol is poisonous to most species, and must be disposed of: In Yellow Water Lily it is evaporated out of the yellow flowers whereas in beer and wine the alcohol cannot evaporate and slowly kills off the yeast as the percentage alcohol increases.

Distinguishing Feature : Large leaves floating on still fresh-water. The flowers are much smaller than white water-lily and yellow, shaped like cups.

No relation to : Fringed Water-Lily [a plant with similar name] which is also yellow but is not a Water-Lily and instead belongs to the Bogbean Family.

This plant will yield a black dye.

QUINOLIZIDNE ALKALIIDS



Yellow Water-Lily contains the poisonous alkaloids Nupharine, Nupharidine, Desoxynupharidine and some other quinolizidine alkaloids such as Nuphacristine and Nupharolidine. Quite a few also contain sulfur, such as Thionupharidine. These alkaloids are mostly contained in the rhizomes. Compare these quinolizidine alkaloids with Lupinine, a simpler Quinolizidine alkaloid.


  Nuphar lutea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Nymphaeaceae  

Distribution
family8Water-Lily family8Nymhaeacaea

 BSBI maps
genus8Nuphar
Nuphar
(Yellow Water-lilies)

YELLOW WATER-LILY

BRANDY BOTTLE

Nuphar lutea

Water-Lily Family [Nymphaeaceae]  

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