Nelumbo Lutea - Yellow Lotus Growing four to ten inches in height, a single flower---bearing a soft lemon hue---can straddle a stalk as high as three feet above freshwater. These beautiful flowering plants, characterized by clover-like floral clusters, are a whorl of petal-like parts. Verdant and serene, large oval petals loom a foot or more above water level and spiral a spongy, pitted receptacle, dappled with stamens.
Leaves and Stem:
Nelumbo Lutea - Yellow Lotus leaves, stable and straightforward, are flushed with root hairs, which help retard water loss. Attached to an underwater stalk, the blades extend upward and embrace the flowers in splendor. Radiating up to six feet high in deep water, the yellow lotus is the most abundant native wildflower in North America. As a floating plant, it absorbs energy from sunlight and converts it to food---remaining fresh and luxuriant in season. Voluptuous and smooth, it typically has a leaf width of 12 to 28 inches.
Spawning pod-like fruits, the receptacle is florid and sturdy. At maturity, the whole structure dislodges from the plant and eject its pods. These seeds, measuring a half-inch in size, plop to the bottom of the water and produce new plants. Pithy and nutrient-rich, they are assertive and help to ensure the annual success of the flower’s hallmark across the nation, most notably in eastern regions and the Midwest.
This native beauty thrives in the sun and grows seamlessly in select lakes, major rivers, and floodplains. Flourishing rapidly in marsh and wetlands, it springs into flower from July to September, depending on variable conditions such as temperature and climate. Requiring six or more hours of direct sunlight in the dark, fertile soil, it blooms best in hardiness zone 6 (USDA). A perennial herb with a dazzling flair, the yellow lotus is a signature favorite.
Nelumbo Lutea - Yellow Lotus