Nuphar lutea ssp. variegata is a perennial, aquatic herb; colonial from rhizomes 2.5-7 cm thick (Flora of North America 1993+).
Leaves alternate, usually floating, stalks flattened, winged, blade 7-35 cm long, 5-25 cm wide, base deeply lobed, lobes often overlapping.
Flowers yellow, 2.5-5 cm wide, sepals 6, thick, broad, deep yellow to green outside, often purplish inside at base, stigma 1 cm wide with 10-15 rays; flowers solitary; blooms June-Aug.
Fruit a leathery capsule 2-4.5 cm wide, deeply ridged, often purplish; seeds 0.3-0.5 cm long (Flora of North America 1993+); eaten by waterfowl (Martin et al. 1951).
Wetland status: OBL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Sunny pond margins, sluggish streams.