Yellow Water-lily

Nuphar lutea

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Yellow Water-lily


The Yellow Water-lily is a common plant of still or slow-moving water and grows in ponds, lakes, canals and ditches. It has large 'lily pad' leaves, up to 40cm across, and grows in water up to 3 metres deep, with the leaves floating on the surface. It flowers during the summer from June to September, and smells like the dregs of wine, hence other common names like 'Brandy Bottle'.

How to identify

The Yellow Water-lily has more oval leaves than the White Water Lily, and a smaller, yellower flower which it holds above the water.

Where to find it

Found throughout the country.

When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and the loss of ponds through development, has resulted in the disappearance of many of the UK's wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help too: plant water-lilies and other natives in a wildlife-friendly pond and provide shelter for frogs and nectar for insects. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden.

Species information

Common name
Yellow Water-lily
Latin name
Nuphar lutea
Flower size: 4-6cm across
Conservation status