Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Spanish (1) (learn more)

Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This perennial wildflower is an emergent aquatic that produces leaves and flowers directly from underwater rhizomes. The leaf blades are 1-2½' across; they are orbicular and concave toward their centers, smooth and slightly wavy-drooping along their margins, and peltate (each petiole joining its leaf blade near the middle). The upper blade surface is light to dark green and glabrous, while the lower blade surface is light green and slightly hairy. Several veins radiate from the center of each leaf blade, branching dichotomously toward its margin. The relatively stout petioles are 2-6' long, light green, terete, and glabrous; they contain internal chambers of air. Most leaf blades are held about ½-3' above the surface of the water on their petioles, although a minority of leaf blades may float on the surface of the water. Flowers are produced individually from stout peduncles about 3-6' tall. The peduncles are light green, terete, and glabrous; like the petioles, they also contain internal chambers of air. The flowers are held about ½-3' above the surface of the water. Each flower is about 4-8" across, consisting of 10-20 tepals, an obconic receptacle, and numerous stamens. The outermost tepals are light green, otherwise they are white to pale yellow. The golden yellow stamens have hooked appendages at their apices. Each receptacle has 10-20 pistils along its truncate upper surface that are embedded in pits. The blooming period occurs during mid- to late summer for about 1½ months. Individual flowers are short-lived and often mildly fragrant. Afterwards, the receptacles of the flowers become 3-6" across and turn brown; each receptacle contains 10-20 nut-like seeds. Individual seeds are about ½" across and ovoid-globoid in shape; the receptacle eventually bends downward to release the seeds into the water. The root system is long-rhizomatous. Rhizomes that are produced during late summer and fall become swollen and starchy. This wildflower is a strong colonizer.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native American Lotus is occasional in southern and western central Illinois, while in the rest of the state it is uncommon. It is possible that Amerindians introduced this wildflower into new areas prior to the time of European settlement as its starchy rhizomes and seeds were used by them as sources of food. Habitats include ponds, quiet inlets of lakes, marshes with open water, margins of slow-moving rivers, sinkholes, and open shallow water in front of dams. Large colonies of American Lotus occur along the Illinois River.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Nelumbo pentapetala (Walter) Fernald:
Honduras (Mesoamerica)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Nelumbo lutea Willd.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
Colombia (South America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Nelumbo lutea Pers.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)
Mexico (Mesoamerica)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

introduced at other sites; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Wis.; Mexico; West Indies (Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola); Central America (Honduras).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Leaves: petiole to 2 m or more. Leaf blade to 6 dm or more. Flowers: tepals pale yellow, 1-13 cm, outermost 1-5 normally persistent; anthers 1-2 cm. Fruits somewhat globose, 10-16 × 8-13 mm, mostly less than 1.25 times longer than wide; receptacle to 1 dm diam. at maturity, abruptly narrowed ca. 1-2 cm below flattened top, base tapered, lateral surface usually distinctly striate. 2 n = 16.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native American Lotus is occasional in southern and western central Illinois, while in the rest of the state it is uncommon. It is possible that Amerindians introduced this wildflower into new areas prior to the time of European settlement as its starchy rhizomes and seeds were used by them as sources of food. Habitats include ponds, quiet inlets of lakes, marshes with open water, margins of slow-moving rivers, sinkholes, and open shallow water in front of dams. Large colonies of American Lotus occur along the Illinois River.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Mostly flood plains of major rivers in ponds, lakes, pools in marshes and swamps, and backwaters of reservoirs; 0-400m.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Water Lotus in Illinois

Nelumbo lutea (Water Lotus)
(Most bees collect pollen; flies & beetles feed on pollen; bumblebees & wasps explore the flowers & are non-pollinating; some insects become dead on the flowers and are non-pollinating; the short-tongued bees Lasioglossum nelumbonis, Lasioglossum nymphaearum, & Hylaeus nelumbonis are probably oligoleges of Water Lotus and similar species of wetland plants; observations are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera cp fq; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus fraternus exp np, Bombus griseocallis exp np, Bombus impatiens dead np, Bombus pensylvanica exp np; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla cp

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea cp fq, Augochlorella striata cp fq, Halictus ligatus cp, Halictus parallelus cp fq, Halictus rubicunda cp, Lasioglossum imitatus cp, Lasioglossum nelumbonis cp fq olg, Lasioglossum nymphaearum cp fq olg, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus cp fq, Lasioglossum versatus fp cp fq; Colletidae (Hylaeninae): Hylaeus affinis cp, Hylaeus nelumbonis cp olg

Wasps
Scoliidae: Scolia bicincta exp np; Sapygidae: Sapyga interrupta exp np

Flies
Syrphidae: Orthonevra nitida fp, Sphaerophoria contiqua fp, Syritta pipiens fp, Syrphus ribesii fp, Toxomerus marginatus fp, Trichopsomyia banksi fp fq; Muscidae: Neomyia cornicina dead np; Ephydridae: Notiphila unicolor fp fq

Beetles
Cerambycidae: Typocerus badia fp; Chrysomelidae: Diabrotica undecimpunctata fp fq; Coccinellidae: Coleomegilla maculata fp, Hippodamia tredecimpunctata fp

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Faunal Associations

The flowers are cross-pollinated by honeybees, Halictid bees (Halictus spp., Lasioglossum spp.), and Masked bees (Hylaeus spp.), which collect pollen for their larvae. The following bee species are oligoleges of American Lotus
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering late spring-summer.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Nelumbo lutea

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full sun, shallow water about 1-4' deep, and a soil bottom that is mucky or sandy. Bodies of water with strong waves or fast-flowing currents should be avoided. This wildflower can spread aggressively and eventually dominate a shallow pond by overshading other aquatic plants. The hard-coated seeds can remain viable for several decades.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Nelumbo lutea

Nelumbo lutea is a species of flowering plant in the monotypic family Nelumbonaceae. Common names include American lotus, yellow lotus, water-chinquapin, and volée. It is native to North America. The Linnaean binomial Nelumbo lutea (Willd.) is the currently recognized name for this species, which has been classified under the former names Nelumbium luteum and Nelumbo pentapetala, among others.[1]

Description[edit]

American lotus is an emergent aquatic plant. It grows in lakes and swamps, as well as areas subject to flooding. The roots are anchored in the mud, but the leaves and flowers emerge above the water's surface. The petioles of the leaves may extend as much as 2 m (6.6 ft) and end in a round leaf blade 33–43 cm (13–17 in) in diameter. Mature plants range in height from 0.8 to 1.5 m (2.6 to 4.9 ft).[2]

Flowering begins in late spring and may continue into the summer. The specific name means "yellow" in Latin and refers to the flowers, which may be white to pale yellow. The flowers measure 18–28 cm (7.1–11.0 in) in diameter and have 22-25 petals.[2]

Range[edit]

The native distribution of the species is the southeastern United States, Mexico, Honduras, and the Caribbean. It was apparently distributed northwards in the United States by Native Americans who carried the plant with them as a food source.[3]

Uses[edit]

This plant has a large tuber that is used as a food source. This may be the plant called "macoupin" in Miami-Illinois. The seed is also edible and is known as "alligator corn".[4]

It is widely planted in ponds for its foliage and flowers. American Lotus has established itself as a weed in some areas, spreading via creeping rhizomes and seeds. This species has been crossed with N. nucifera to create many hybrids. Seeds may be propagated by scarifying the pointed tip of the seed with a file then soaking in water, or by division of established plants.

Other Media[edit]

Disney's character Princess Tiana (Disney) wears as her iconic princess dress, a gown fashioned from a yellow Nelumbo lutea.

White flower 
Yellow flower 
Leaf and flower bud 
Empty seed pods 

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nelumbo lutea". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ a b Slocum, Perry D. (2005). Waterlilies and Lotuses: Species, Cultivars, and New Hybrids. Timber Press. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-88192-684-2. 
  3. ^ Wiersema, John H. (1997). "Nelumboanaceae". Flora of North America 3. 
  4. ^ Mariani, John F. (1999). Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink. Lebhar-Friedman Books. p. 5. ISBN 0-86730-784-6. 
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Notes

Comments

Nelumbo lutea is a species as magnificent as its Asian relative, N . nucifera , but it is less cultivated for ornament. It was probably originally confined to flood plains of major rivers and their tributaries in the east-central United States and carried northward and eastward by aborigines who used the seeds and tubers for food. The species is sometimes an aggressive, difficult-to-eradicate weed in ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. 

 Although Nelumbo lutea is often attributed to (Willdenow) Persoon, the spelling Nelumbium luteum used by Willdenow is an orthographic error for Nelumbo lutea (W. Greuter et al. 1994, Art. 61.4) that should be corrected, and Persoon's later combination is superfluous.

The name Nelumbo pentapetala (Walter) Fernald, sometimes used for this taxon, was based on Nymphaea pentapetala Walter, a name of uncertain application that has been recently proposed for rejection (J. H. Wiersema and J. L. Reveal 1991).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!