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Nelumbo lutea (American lotus) | NPIN
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Nelumbo lutea (American lotus)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Nelumbo lutea

Nelumbo lutea Willd.

American lotus, Yellow water lotus, Yellow lotus

Nymphaeaceae (Water-Lily Family)

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 Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Green
Flower:
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , 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: Still water

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Aquatic: yes
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.

Benefit

Use Food: 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: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Propagation

Propagation Material: Root Division

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Herbarium Specimen(s)

LBJWC 1121 Collected 07 August 2009 in Brazoria County by Minnette Marr

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1286 Collected 2013-07-09 in Brazoria County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 1262 - Plants of Carolinian Canada (1994) Lamb, Larry and Gail Rhynard
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Nelumbo lutea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Nelumbo lutea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Nelumbo lutea

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-06-15
Research By: NPC

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