lutea - American lotus
Family: (Nymphaceae) Nelumbonaceae
About the plant:
Nelumbo lutea (American Lotus) is and emergent aquatic plant
with large circular leaves. Leaves are connected to the
petiole in the center of the circle with no apparent slits in the side
(an easy way to distinguish them from other water lilies).
Flowers are born off the top and have numerous stamen
around a central pistil. Flowers last for two days in which time they
can be pollinated by insects. Yet, when the flowers first open, only the
female parts are exposed allowing for cross-pollination with slightly
older flowers in a group.
In my opinion American Lotus has the most fascinating floating aquatic
leaf of all aquatic plants. Take the outer surface of the leaf as an example.
If you drop a bit of water on the surface, it balls up and runs off. Ok,
sure you say, that happens on many plants. But, with American lotus you
just can't seem to get the surface 'wet'. If you're in doubt, watch the
video that we created and see for yourself what I'm talking about.
The second thing that makes all lotus plants great, is the edibility
of the roots, leaves and seeds. For millennia no doubt, people have been
collecting the starchy rhizomes and using them as a food source. The young
leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach and the seeds, when immature
can be eaten raw.
Invasive species treament
In the U.S. this plant can be considered a weed because of its ability
to expand rapidly and cover wetland habitats that people would wish it
didn't. It can act to snare fishing lines, boat props and otherwise cease
all boat activity in an area. Infomation on management techniques can
be viewed through the MSUcares
website or the TAMU