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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Nelumbo lutea Willd.
American lotus, Yellow water lotus, Yellow lotus
Synonym(s): Nelumbium luteum, Nelumbo pentapetala
USDA Symbol: nelu
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
An aquatic plant with fragrant, pale yellow flowers and bowl-shaped leaves borne on stalks above the water.
This member of the Water Lily group is recognized by large, umbrella-like leaves and the inverted, cone-like structure in the middle of the flowers. It covers extensive areas along the Mississippi River from Ontario, Iowa, and Wisconsin southward.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Brown Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WI Canada: ON Native Distribution:
Southern Ontario, Iowa, and Minnesota to southern New England and New York; south to Florida, Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola; west to Texas; south through Mexico to Honduras. Native Habitat:
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Any pond bottom or very large submerged pot.
Conditions Comments: Its saucer-shaped leaves are more than a foot in diameter and often rise out of the water. The lotus flowers are yellowish white with rich gold centers. They open in the morning and close by late afternoon and reopen the following day. Prepare to give aqautic plant lots of space to spread and reproduce.
The large tuberous roots, the size of a human arm were baked like sweet potatoes, the leaves were eaten like spinach and the seeds were prepared to be eaten like nuts or ground into flour.
The pods are quite striking and often used in flower
arrangements. (Lamb/Rhynard) Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Herbarium Specimen(s)LBJWC 1121
Collected 07 August 2009 in Brazoria County by Minnette Marr
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1286
Collected 2013-07-09 in Brazoria County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2013-06-15
Research By: NPC