I have largely ignored it as well until one day late in January I was looking through the binoculars, scanning the edges of the dam for ducks or plovers, and I noticed some flowers on the surface. I had no idea what they were and at first suspected it to be a weed. But no. It's a perennial plant called a Swamp Lily Ottelia ovalifolia that likes to grow in still or slowly moving fresh water. It has broad leaves, each with seven veins, that float on the surface of the water. (The juvenile leaves are linear and submerged.) The flowers have three petals and are quite large, up to 5 cm in diameter.
|Floating Pondweed (background) and flowering Swamp Lilies|
|Swamp Lily flower|
|Swamp Lily flower and bud|
|Floating Pondweed leaves and flowers|
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