, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 520–531 | Cite as

Nymphaea tetragona and Nymphaea leibergii (Nymphaeaceae): two species of diminutive water-lilies in North America

  • John H. Wiersema


Although all past floras of northern North America have recognized only one species of diminutive water-lily, actually two distinct species occur in the region. The circumboreal Nymphaea tetragona Georgi is largely confined to the northwestern part of the continent, extending as far east as Manitoba and occurring in the contiguous United States only in northwest Washington. A second species, N. leibergii Morong, is restricted to, but widely distributed in, northern North America, though it is absent from the extreme northwest. The two species are distinguishable from each other by several floral and foliar characters and the two species form a section, Nymphaea subg. Nymphaea sects. Chamaenymphaea, stat: nov. This is distinguished from the two other sections of subg. Nymphaea in a key, and Nymphaea subg. Nymphaea sect. Xanthantha, stat. nov., is proposed. Sect. Chamaenymphaea is described for North America, synonymy and nomenclature for both species are discussed, and a key including N. odorata Aiton is presented. A lectotype is provided for N. leibergii and the typification of N. tetragona is examined.

Key words

aquatic plants Nymphaea typification Nymphaeaceae 


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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Wiersema
    • 1
  1. 1.Systematic Botany and Mycology LaboratoryU.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research ServiceBeltsvilleU.S.A.

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