American lotus

Nelumbo lutea -- Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Nelumbo lutea

Native to Florida


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    The grandiose American lotus is an emersed native. Its leaves may be emersed above the water or floating on it. The plant can be found in muddy, shallow waters such as lake margins, or in water as deep as six feet. Two species of Nelumbo occur in Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). American lotus can be found in California and throughout the eastern half of US and Canada (Kartesz, 1999).

    This large plant is very easy to identify. Its flowers are extremely large, typically six incheswide. Flowers are luminescent yellow with many petals and stamens. American lotus leaves are circular, and do not have a "cut", as do water lily leaves. The lotus leaf is on a long, stiff stalk that is connected to the leaf at the very center of the leaf, umbrella-like. American lotus seedpods are sold as ornamental items.