Submitted to: Brittonia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 21, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The Flora of North America is a comprehensive effort to provide the means for identifying and characterizing vascular plants in the United States. Without such a work the biological resources of this country cannot be documented. In the course of a study of dwarf waterlilies, prized ornamental plants in water gardens, it was determined that their taxonomy was confused. As a result of this study two species are recognized and thus their accurate status is now known. This work supports, federal agencies such as the USDA-National Resources Conservation Service, the DOI-National Biological Service, and the multi-institutional Flora of North America project who will use it to accurately identify these species.
Two distinct species of diminutive water-lilies of Nymphae subg. Nymphaea sect. Chamaenymphaea occur in northern North America, though all past floras from the region have recognized only one. The circumboreal Nymphaea tetragona Georgi is confined tot he northwestern part of the continent, extending as far east as Manitoba and entering the contiguous United States only in northwest Washington A second species, N. leibergii Morong, thus far known only from northern North America, is more widely distributed but is absent form the extreme northwest. The two species are distinguishable by several floral and foliar characters. Synonymy and nomenclature are discussed and descriptions for the sections, both species, and a key which includes N. odorata Aiton are presented. A sectional name for the two species is formally proposed and another for Nymphae subg. Nymphaea sect. Xanthantha.