Lutea (Nelumbo lutea)

 Quick Facts::  Lutea (Nelumbo lutea)
Care Level:Easy
Maximum Length:5″ 
Water Conditions:55-80 F,  pH 6.0 - 9.0
Propagation:Rhizone Division
Supplements:Slow Release Tablets 
Origin:North America

The Lutea Lotus, also known as American Lotus, American Yellow Lotus, and the Water Chinaquin, produces vast numbers of larger, bright yellow blossoms. Each blossom measures up to 11 inches in diameter and has from 22 to 25 rich yellow petals with slightly lighter tips. Native to eastern and central United States, this is an extremely durable plant that can grow to be around 5 feet tall. Flowers are followed by nut-like fruits which are imbedded in the flat surface of a turbinate  Receptacles acquire a woody texture when dried (suggestive of wasps' nests) and are highly prized for dried flower arrangements.This may be the plant called "macoupin" the American lotus was an important food for Native Americans. The rhizomes produce starchy tubers that can be baked like sweet potatoes. The young leaves, before they unroll, can be steamed or boiled like spinach. The immature seeds can be eaten raw and the mature seeds  known as "alligator corn"  can be shelled and the kernels roasted and eaten like nuts or ground into flour. This plant is highly invasive under proper conditions; be careful to keep all roots contained in the pond. 

Water Conditions
55-80° F  
pH 6.0-9.0

Easily grown in calm water in full sun. Winter hardy to USDA Zone 5 as long as the roots do not freeze.The Lutea (Nelumbo lutea) will also thrive in small container gardens such as a half oak barrel or in small tubs and kettles in the full sun. Pot in round, shallow, solid containers of 2 gallons or more, in 6-18" of water. Rhizomes of container-grown plants may be lifted in fall after plants die back and stored in a cool location (basement, root cellar or other frost-free area) until spring. If your lotus is wintered inside, in the spring, set it out in full sun. Keeping it there until the water in the pot is approximately 80°F will get it to bloom sooner. Wait until the leaves have started to grow and the pond temperature is above 70°F before submerging the lily pot back in your pond. This prevents the plant from going into shock.

Propagation is done by division of the root stock. Cut 4-5 inch chunks making sure each section contains a bud eye. Replant all divide sections as soon as possible and do not let the root dry out. Best done in early spring to give the plant grow time before preparing for winter.