Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Coastal BC Plants: Yellow Pond Lily

Yellow Pond Lily

There are several varieties of Pond Lily (often called Water Lily) in British Columbia on ponds and in quiet corners of larger lakes.

Yellow Pond Lilies are floating perennial herbs that are held in place by rhizomes on the lake bottom. Long thin stems allow the flat leaves to reach the surface. There they float in masses to gather sunlight and reproduce.

When kept in check by natural conditions, pests and predators, they are lovely. But on Cranberry Lake in Powell River they are a problem. As the water flow has decreased, the lilies have proliferated. Remediation isn't easy or cheap, but homeowners are working to see their lake restored to it's original beauty.


Wayne and I were paddling our kayak on Nanton Lake at the end of summer. The water was so clear that you could see this Pond-Lily plant all the way down to where its stems reached lake bottom under which their large rhizomes anchor them down and extract nutrients.




First Nations people used Pond-Lily rhizomes for medicinal purposes to treat illnesses such as colds, tuberculosis, ulcers, heart conditions, cancer, and contraception. Heated leaves and roots were used as a topical for chest pains and rheumatism. -- Margy

References: Plants of Coastal British Columbia by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon (Lone Pine Publishing, 1994) and E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia.

19 comments:

  1. I actually learned a lot from your post today. I love the flowers and how they just float so serenely in the water.

    Leslie
    abcw team

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    1. Doing BC plants and animals for my posts has taught me a lot too. I've had to do a lot of research in the process. - Margy

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  2. We have them in our pond too .... lovely flowers!!

    Have a nice abc week / day
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to comment. Except where they run rampant, there are a beautiful addition to a lake or pond. - Margy

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  3. The water is so clear and clean looking in your images.

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    1. The water was so clear, yet the bottom was covered in silt and muck. Any little disturbance sent it up to cloud the view. - Margy

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  4. Very interesting post. I wonder how effective the lilies were as medicine for the natives and if any medical researchers have checked them out yet.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

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    1. I don't know if research has been done on all native remedies, but some have become pharmaceuticals that we depend on today. - Margy

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  5. such a lovelyview and thanks for the interesting information

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  6. It has always fascinated me about how early people used plants as medicines. How did they know? Who died during trial and error? Unsung hero's.

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    1. Many of our medicines have come from traditional remedies. It must have been hard to learn what worked, and for what illness. - Margy

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  7. They look beautiful and special !

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  8. Beautiful lily pond.

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  9. I didn't know about the medicinal qualities of water lilies. They have problems with invasive ones in Florida I know, but I still think they are so pretty.

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  10. It is so interesting to see how the lily pads are attached t the bottom of the ponds, and that they have medicinal [properties. I love the flowers when they bloom.

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  11. I have them blooming in my garden. Great pics.
    Happy ABCW!

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  12. Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting on my Pond Lily post. I've learned so much over this last year by participating in ABC Wednesdays. - Margy

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