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Nelumbo lutea

Common Name(s):

Description

A large-flowered marginal aquatic perennial that typically grows 3-6’ tall in shallow water and spreads, sometimes aggressively, by thickened rhizomes rooted in the mud.

For water gardens or small ponds, plant roots in large containers or planting baskets with up to 24” of water covering the crowns. Container grown plants are easier to control and, if desired, to move to other locations. 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#showy flowers#water garden#perennial#wildflowers#water plant#pond margins#spreading
Cultivars:
Tags:
#showy flowers#water garden#perennial#wildflowers#water plant#pond margins#spreading
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Nelumbo
    Species:
    lutea
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The young leaf stalks/leaves, the rootstock and the seeds were eaten by native Americans.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    New York and Ontario west to Minnesota and south to Florida and Texas plus Mexico, Central America, Columbia and the West Indies.
    Wildlife Value:
    Colonies of this plant provide excellent habitat and shelter for wildlife.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Water Plant
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    After blooming, nut-like fruits begin to form imbedded in the flat surface of the receptacle. Receptacles turn brown, harden and acquire a woody-like texture as they dry (suggestive of wasps’ nests). Eventually, the receptacle breaks off and falls into the water where it floats as it slowly disintegrates, distributing its seed as it goes.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Each flower has a distinctive showerhead-like central turbinate (inversely conical) receptacle (2-3” diameter) consisting of pistil-containing cavities. Each flower blooms for about three days, opening in the morning and closing at night each day
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Feel:
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    1-2 ft. bowl-shaped leaves held 1-2 feet above the water
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups