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Nelumbo lutea - American lotus
Family: (Nymphaceae) Nelumbonaceae

View Video

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.

Cool extras:

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 site.

Links


VIDEO


Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers

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