American Lotus Seedpod

August 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Doesn't this American Lotus Seedpod look like a shower head? This year the American Lotus plants are thriving at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I read that the seeds are edible and is known as "alligator corn" or "Cajun peanuts". The hard, flat-topped, cone-shaped fruit contains large brown seeds.

American lotus was an important food source for Native Americans, who dug up the starchy roots with their feet. Young shoots were eaten as greens; the unripe seeds taste like chestnuts and when ripe can be hulled and roasted.

Waterfowl eat the seeds, and large colonies are important nurseries for fish and other aquatic life as well as shelter for ducks. (Source: Missouri Department of Conservation)

The pods are yellow when developing in the center of the flower, green when the petals and sepals fall, and brown as the pod dries and the seeds are dropped. The spent pods are very popular in dry floral arrangements and are available in most flower shops. When the seeds are ready to drop, the pod dips over and the seeds simply fall into the water. (Source: Loyola University New Orleans )

I also read that lotus can be aggressive and dominate most portions of a pond shallower than 7 feet, making boating, fishing, seining and swimming difficult. Abundant stands of lotus can limit more preferred duck food plants such as pondweeds, smartweeds and naiads.

Here is a photo of the American Lotus plants: Coyote Standing In Some American Lotus

American Lotus Seedpod - 073117-1659American Lotus Seedpod - Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge - Oklahoma

 


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