Mar. 15, 2022

bullhead-lily, Nuphar variegata

In Quebec, they might say 'grand nenuphar juane'. One of the main reasons for scientific names is so someone from Sweden can talk about a plant with someone from, say, France, and they will both be thinking about the same thing. In that context it makes sense that the system was invented in Europe, with all its different languages, and that Latin was kind of a neutral and acceptable choice. The system is cerainly an honorable and wise effort, with much to be admired. Now, if we could only agree on which scientific name to use! We all agree with the Nuphar part, but species have been much debated. Some have treated North American plants as a single species, N. lutea or N. sagittifolia. Others split them up. Recent molecular studies trend towards the splitters, but the most recent info I can find notes that the genus is still being reviewed. In this same vein, Wiki notes that nuphar comes from the old Latin Nenuphar, which comes from the Arabic ninufar, then back to Persian nilufar, then Sanskrit nilotpala. Let's hear it for the scientific system! Bullhead-lilies grow in shallow water in CT, DE, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SD, VT, WI, all provinces, and on SPM. Lenawee Co MI, 6/13/18. Water-lily family, Nymphaeaceae.