The Yellow Pond Lily (Nuphar lutea), also referred to as Cow Lily, Spatter Dock, Dwarf Spatterdock, Small Yellow Pond-lily, and Small Yellow Cow-lily, is a native Adirondack wildflower that sprouts around the summer time. Yellow Pond Lilies are aquatic plants that are known to float lightly on the water's surface. These lilies are most likely to be found in smaller bodies of water, including marshes, streams, ponds, and slow-moving rivers and lakes. The flowers tend to grow approximately two inches wide and grow above the water. The leaves are broad ovals, forming the shape of a horseshoe at the stalk's attachment point. They are pollinated by beetles and other flies. Now considered a part of the subspecies of N. Lutea, this species used to be classified into a few other groups that are local to the Adirondack Mountains, including Nuphar microphylla, N. rubrodisca, and N. variegata.
The Yellow Pond Lily has many uses in nature and makes a good resource for foraging. This plant is extremely edible and can be prepared in several ways. The root is available to be eaten raw or cooked. In order to remove any bitterness to the taste, it is recommended that the root spends time being soaked in water before consumption. The root is also useful when dried and ground, making it ideal to be used as a soup thickener or used to make bread by being combined with cereal flour. The seed is also available to be consumed raw or cooked. It can be roasted and eaten, or it can be ground into a powder to be used as a soup thickener. For more information on how to consume yellow pond lilies, click here.
The Yellow Pond Lily also possesses interesting medicinal benefits. One can use the roots to make a tea that will combat digestive issues, such as diarrhea. The roots can also be used to treat various skin conditions and are great for reducing bleeding.