Pygmy Water-lily - Nymphaea leibergii
Nymphaea tetragona ssp. leibergii
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from 4 extant occurrences in western valleys and one historical collection from Salmon Lake in the Seeley Lake area. Populations are susceptible to impacts from development, recreation, siltation and aquatic weeds.
Pygmy Water-lily is an herbaceous perennial with submergent stems and floating leaves arising from a thick rhizome. The leaves have a long, slender petiole attached to the base of a long, v-shaped notch in the elliptic blades that are 7-10 cm long. The bowl-shaped flowers have long, slender stalks and float on the surface of the water. Each flower has 4 light green, narrowly elliptic sepals that are 2-3 cm long and 7-15 white, narrowly lance-shaped petals of the same length. There are 30-45 yellowish stamens, and the stigma is large and saucer-shaped. The fruit is woody and berry-like.
Flowering in late July-August.
Nymphaea leibergii occurs from northern Maine and Quebec west to British Columbia, and south to Michigan (Isle Royale), Minnesota, and Montana. Historical in Idaho. Currently reported as very common in Alaska by Heritage records. According to Wiersema (1995), however, plants in Alaska are all N. tetragona ssp. tetragona, and N. tetragona ssp. leibergii does not occur in Alaska.
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Quiet, fresh water of lakes and backwater sloughs in the valleys.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Bursik, R. J., and R. K. Moseley. 1992. Vegetation and water chemistry monitoring and twenty-year floristic changes at Huff Lake Fen, Kaniksu National Forest. Cooperative Challenge Cost-share Project, Idaho Panhandle National Forests and Idaho Conservation Data Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game. 27 pp.
- Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Porsild, A.E. 1939. Nymphaea tetragona georgi in Canada. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 53: 48-50.
- Schuyler, A. E. 1983. Distributional notes on northwestern Montana aquatic vascular plants - 1982. Bartonia. 43:52-54.
- Wiersema, J.H. 1997. Nymphaea tetragona and Nymphaea leibergii (Nymphaceae): two species of diminuitive water-lilies in North America. Brittonia 48(4):520-531.