Many Loon Cam viewers have commented on the lovely setting of this nest, particularly the aquatic flowers that surround the nesting raft. There are three species currently in flower. All three are very common New Hampshire aquatic plants found in shallow water (less than six feet) with a nutrient rich sediment bed.
The white flowers floating directly on the water are part of the White Water-Lily (Nymphaea odorata). These flowers are very fragrant and some people call the plant the sweet-scented water-lily. Most parts of this plant are edible and that may be why it also goes by the name of beaver root. The flowers open every morning and re-close by dusk. After pollination, the flower sinks and the fruit develops under water.
The small, yellow globular flowers that sit on stalks about six inches above the water belong to the Yellow Pond-Lily (Nuphar variegata). This plant also goes by many names. I first learned to call it spatterdock. A friend who grew up on this very lake calls it cow lily. Perhaps cows that have the opportunity will wade out to eat the plants, because the yellow pond-lily is also edible. Loon Cam viewers may have noticed the wood ducks nibbling on and actually carrying the flower heads.
Directly behind the nesting raft and just starting to bloom is a patch of pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata). These purple flowers are small and grow in clusters on apical stalks. Pickerel weed prefers very shallow water and is usually found hugging the shoreline. This plant is considered to be a late-summer bloomer, so we are fortunate to see one or two flowers at this time of year.
The Flower Garden
The fruiting body of the yellow pond-lily.