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NELUMBO lutea

Image of Nelumbo lutea

James H. Schutte

Family

Nymphaeaceae

Botanical Name

NELUMBO lutea

Plant Common Name

American Lotus, Yanquapin, Yellow Lotus

General Description

American lotus is a hardy aquatic plant that originates from the eastern and central United States. It is a parent plant for many of the hundreds of lotus hybrids and cultivars extant today.

The leaves are large, round, blue-green, waxy and stand above the surface of the water. In summer, large, long-stemmed, lightly fragrant, buttery yellow flowers fade to ivory with age. The fruits are large, woody, funnel-shaped, flat-topped pods with perforated holey tops containing round hard seeds. The pod are highly ornamental when dried and commonly used in everlasting arrangements.

Rich, wet soil and full sun are requirements for American lotus. It is also essential to protect their tubers from freezing. This can be done by planting them in a deeper part of a mud-bottomed pool that won’t form solid ice in winter.

These are a must for pond edges and water gardens. The only caveat to growing them is their tendency to spread, so give them space.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 11

  • Plant Type

    Aquatics

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m (2)

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Ample Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Lime Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green, Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Container, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes