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Nelumbo lutea - (Willd.)Pers.

Common Name American Water Lotus, American lotus
Family Nelumbonaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Mostly flood plains of major rivers in ponds, lakes, pools in marshes and swamps, and backwaters of reservoirs from sea level to 400 metres[270].
Range Eastern N. America - Massachusetts to Minnesota, Nebraska and Louisiana.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Water Plants Full sun
Nelumbo lutea American Water Lotus, American lotus


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Nelumbo lutea American Water Lotus, American lotus
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Nelumbo lutea is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.8 m (6ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4. It is in flower in July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects, beetles.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

N. pentapentala. Nelumbium luteum

Habitats

 Pond;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Root  Seed  Stem
Edible Uses: Oil

Root - cooked[1, 43, 46, 55, 159]. It is usually steeped in water prior to cooking in order to remove any bitterness[2]. The root is rich in starch[177], when baked it becomes sweet and mealy[95, 101], somewhat like a sweet potato[183]. The root is usually harvested in the autumn and will store for several months[257]. Leaves and young stems - cooked[62, 95, 101, 183]. Seed - raw or cooked[43, 46, 55, 95, 101]. A very agreeable taste[2, 159]. The seed can be dried, ground into a powder and used for making bread, thickening soups etc or can be eaten dry[62, 183]. The bitter tasting embryo is often removed. The half-ripe seed is said to be delicious raw or cooked, with a taste like chestnuts[183]. The seed contains up to 19% protein[213]. An edible oil can be extracted from the seed[207].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Poultice

The root is pounded into a pulp, either fresh or dried, and used as a poultice for many inflammatory diseases[207].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

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FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Oil

None known

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Historic Crop  Staple Crop: Balanced carb

Requires a rich loam[1] and a sunny position[188]. Succeeds in most soils[1]. Succeeds in water up to 0.6m deep[188]. Plants are half-hardy[188]. They should be hardy in the mild areas of Britain[1]. One report says that the plant is almost extinct in the wild[213], whilst another says that it is sometimes an aggressive, difficult-to-eradicate weed in ponds, lakes, and reservoirs[270]. Grown as a food plant by the N. American Indians[1], it has been proposed for commercial cultivation[106]. The flowers are fragrant[245].

Carbon Farming

  • Historic Crop  These crops were once cultivated but have been abandoned. The reasons for abandonment may include colonization, genocide, market pressures, the arrival of superior crops from elsewhere, and so forth.
  • Staple Crop: Balanced carb  (0-15 percent protein, 0-15 percent oil, with at least one over 5 percent). The carbohydrates are from either starch or sugar. Annuals include maize, wheat, rice, and potato. Perennials include chestnuts, carob, perennial fruits, nuts, cereals, pseudocereals, woody pods, and acorns.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Propagation

Seed - file the seed across its centre, being very careful not to damage the flesh of the seed, and soak in warm water, changing the water twice a day until signs of germination are seen, which should be within 3 - 4 weeks at 25°c. Plant in individual pots just covered in water and increase the depth as the plant grows. Division in spring as the plant comes into growth. Be very careful, the plants deeply resent root disturbance[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Nelumbo nuciferaSacred Water Lotus, Sacred lotusPerennial1.0 4-8  LMHNWa43 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

(Willd.)Pers.

Botanical References

43200235

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