Nelumbonaceae (Water Lotus) Family
Water Lotus is also known as Water Lily, Yellow Nelumbo, Pond Nuts and Water Chinquapin.
The plants are aquatic perennials with rhizomes. Its preferred habitat is ponds, lakes, and slow moving streams. Distribution is occasional in the Escambia region.
The leaves are floating to emergent, round or nearly so, with long stems attached to the center of the leaf rather than to the edge. There are no teeth and no lobes.
The flowers are at the tip of long tethers (stems). Each is bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. There are numerous sepals, with the inner ones becoming petal-like. The numerous petals are off-white to cream in color, numerous stamens. Flowers occur in the summer.
Seeds are nuts, embedded in a large flat-topped cone-like receptacle.
Of interest: Nut-like fruits are edible and delicious. This member of the Water Lily group is recognized by large, umbrella like leaves and the inverted, cone-like structure in the middle that contain the nuts (seeds). Introduced from Asia, the pink Sacred Lotus, N. nucifera, has leaf and flower stalks that rise 2-5 feet above the water surface.