Nelumbo lutea
American lotus
Image of Nelumbo lutea

Photo by MNFI Staff 

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Key Characteristics

Perennial aquatic emergent of Great Lakes marshes; leaves emergent or floating, round, large (over 60 cm) with a long petiole attached to the center of the blade; flower large, white to yellow.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G4

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Barry12004
Berrien11981
Genesee12005
Kalamazoo11979
Monroe152007
Ottawa21999
Wayne32014
Distribution map for Nelumbo lutea

Updated 1/31/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

American lotus is found in marshes, in quiet backwaters and near-shore areas and in large rivers near the Great Lakes.

Specific Habitat Needs

needed in Submergent marsh

Natural Community Types

Methodology

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Feel free to send questions and comments to Brad Slaughter at slaugh14@msu.edu.

Associated Plants

Water-plantain, sedges, spike-rush, northern manna grass, cut grass, smartweed, arrowhead, bur-reed, cat-tail, wild rice, water-milfoil, watercress, great duckweed, water-lily, bulrush, pickerel weed, arrow-arum, and pondweed.

Management

Protect habitat and maintain wetland hydrology and natural cycle of fluctuations in this species marsh habitat. Periodic natural drawdowns due to low water levels may replenish seed bank. Agricultural run-off has negative impacts, thus pollution should be minimized. Invasive species, particularly Phragmites, are also a concern.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Apr 30, 2017]

References

Survey References

Technical References

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