Yellow Lotus (Nelumbo lutea)

Yellow lotus illustration Yellow lotus photo


Common names: American lotus, duck acorn, water nut.

Location: Lakes, quiet streams, river back waters

Description: Grayish-green leaves, up to 2 feet wide, float or stand above water surface; flowers are fragrant, pale-yellow, and grow as large as 6 inches in diameter; has an extensive underground root system.

Hints to identify: The leaves that protrude above the water often look like inverted umbrellas; the petiole (leaf stalk) is attached to the center of the completely circular leaf; the yellow flower contains many petals; acorn-like seeds are housed in a spongy, flat-topped structure.

Importance of plant: Aesthetically appealing; waterfowl eat the seeds; starchy tubers (roots) can be eaten by humans.

Management strategy: In Minnesota, the yellow lotus is a protected wildflower: no removal is allowed.