Many have asked about plants taking over TNMOT’s pond.
They look like a type of water lily, but they are actually
American Lotus. The Latin name is Nelumbo lutea.
Other common names include yellow lotus or
water-chinquapin. It is native to North America
but is an aggressive spreader. The flowers are the
largest in our country growing up to 11 inches in
diameter. The roots are anchored in the mud but the
leaves and stems grow above water 2.5-5 feet.

The Native Americans used the tuberous rhizomes
and seeds for food, effectively spreading the plant north.
The seeds are also eaten by waterfowl and have the
nickname “alligator corn.” Beavers and muskrat eat
the rhizomes keeping it in check. The leaves and stalks
provide protected habitat for fish, while turtles and
birds hunt among them. Bees and butterflies love the
flowers. The dried seed heads are often used in