Species Detail

Nymphaea spp. Aiton.
White water lily


Scientific Name:  
Nymphaea spp. Aiton.
Common Name:  
White water lily
Myaamia Name:  
mahkohpena
Uses:  
Material, Customs
Harvest Seasons:  
Summer, Spring, NA
Habitats:  
Deciduous Swamp no coniferous domts.
Locations:  
Undetermined
Growth Forms:  
Undetermined

Myaamia Archival Sources  
Nymphaea spp. Aiton.
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
No Reference Specified Use - Food  roots cooked in the ground and eaten. "mukoapineek; this is the root of the pond lily. It is very tough and requires considerable preparation before it is fit for use. They find it as large as a mans wrist and one to two feet long. After taking up considerable quantity of it; they dig a hole in the ground; upon the bottom of which they place a layer of stones; on these a layer of wood and on the top another layer of stones. They set the wood on fire; and when it is consumed they cover the heated stones with dry moss; and then throw into the hole the mukoapineek. Thjs is covered with grass or moss; and bark; and having filled the hole with water they cover it with earth. They suffer it to remain untouched for five days; when they take out the roots and cut them into small pieces; after which they are dried upon a scaffold and put away for use. They are preserved in this way for a year; and whenever they have use for them; they throw a quantity into the soup kettle before the meat is throroughly cooked
No Reference Specified Use - Food  cooked for 5-6 hours then eaten. A river south of the Sangamon River; in northern Illinois; was called the river of the Macopines; by Charlevoix. Kellogg adds that in the Potawatomi language; Sangamo; the original name of the river near the Macopine River; means "the country where there is plenty to eat." "On the morrow before day-break we passed by the Saguimont; a large river which comes from the south; and five or six leagues below that we left on the same side a smaller one; called the river of the Macopines; these are a large kind of root; which eaten raw is a rank poison; but which when roasted five or six hours or more before a slow fire; loses all its pernicious quality"
No Reference Specified Use - Medicinal  root used medicinally."nipingi pakataki; white water lily Castalia odorata [old genus name for Nymphaea]; i.e. water flower; root used medicinally"
No Reference Specified Horticultural Info  "It [the macopine] is a big root which they get in the marshes. I have never tried to learn what the flower is like; so I cannot speak of it; although I have seen the women pull the roots up from the ground at the bottom of the water into which they wade sometimes to the waist; so that they often duck their heads under the water to pluck them up. There are some as big as ones leg."
No Reference Specified Horticultural Info  The Old Illinois term nimic8picahan translates to modern French as "je l ay cherche dans l eau avec un baston et je la ay trouve;" meaning "I looked for it in the water with a stick and I found it"
No Reference Specified Horticultural Info  Since this directly follows the entry for macopines; it proably refers to a harvesting methods of this; and other edible aquatic roots
No Reference Specified Description  Nymphaea tuberosa has leaves that are green beneath; N. odorata has leaves that are purple beneath. Both species are the only large aquatic plant of Nelumbo; Nymphaea and Nuphar that have floating leaves and flowers
No Reference Specified Description  This species was also known as macopine
No Reference Specified Use - Food  roots cooked and eaten. "There are also many roots which the women gather. The one which they esteem the most is the macopine. It is a big root which they get in the marshes. I have never tried to learn what the flower is like; so I cannot speak of it; although I have seen the women pull the roots up from the ground at the bottom of the water into which they wade sometimes up to the waist; so that they often duck their heads under the water to pluck them up. There are some as big as ones leg. The savages assert that that they are poisonous when raw; which I hardly believe. The women have peculiar difficulty in cooking them. Sometimes three of four cabins combine and dig a hole in the ground five or six feet deep and ten or twelve square. They throw a great deal of wood into it; which they set on fire and when it is aflame they throw in a number of rocks; which they take care to turn over with big levers until they are all red; then they go in quest of a large quantity of grass which they get at the bottom of the water and which they spread as well as they can over these rocks to the thickness of about a foot; after which they throw on many buckets of water and then as fast as they can each cabin puts its roots in its own place; covering them over with dry grass and bark and finally earth. They leave them thus for three days. They shrink to half their former size"
Botanical Sources  
Nymphaea spp. Aiton.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
No Reference Specified   Occurs in quiet waters of streams and ponds
Related Sources  
Nymphaea spp. Aiton.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
No Reference Specified   "kaahsikaahsileeka" and "mac8peniki" for the macopine; or white water lily root. In modern Miami this would be spelled "waapisipina; or waapipakaani$i"
No Reference Specified   This species roots require lengthy cooking