This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Comprises only the following genus.
Large aquatic herbs, with thick rootstocks, long-petioled concave emersed or floating leaves, and small and scale like submerged ones borne sessile on the rootstock. Flowers large, showy, yellow, pink or white. Sepals 4 or 5, imbricate. Petals and stamens 00, inserted on the calyx, caducous. Filaments more or less petaloid; anthers introrse. Carpels oo, distinct, contained in pits in the large convex receptacle. Style short; ovules I or 2, pendulous or anatropous; endosperm none; cotyledons thick, fleshy. Nuts globose or oblong. [Ceylon name for N. Nelumbo.]
Flowers pink or white; plant introduced.
Nelumbium luteum Willd. Sp. Pl. 2: 1259. 1799. Nelumbo lutea Pers. Syn. 1: 92. 1805.
Rootstock nearly horizontal, tuberiferous. Emersed leaves 1°-2° broad, nearly orbicular but often somewhat constricted in the middle, centrally peltate, raised high out of water or floating, prominently ribbed, glabrous above, more or less pubescent and lepidote beneath, the lower surface marked with an oblong, transverse area; petioles and peduncles thick, 3°-7° long, with several large air-canals; flowers pale yellow, 4'-10' broad; petals concave, obovate, obtuse; anthers appendaged; fruit obconic or somewhat hemispheric, 3'-4' long; seeds nearly globular, 6" in diameter.
In rivers and lakes, locally distributed from Massachusetts to Minnesota, Nebraska and Louisiana. Cuba. N. jamaicensis, of Jamaica, closely resembles this species, but may be specifically distinct. Tubers and seeds farinaceous, edible. Great yellow water-lily. Water-chinkapin. Wankapin or yankapin. Duck-acorn. Rattle- or water-nut. July-Aug.
Nymphaea Nelumbo L. Sp. Pl. 511. 1753. Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. Fruct. & Sem. 1: 73.
pl. 19. 1788. Nelumbium speciosum Willd. Sp. Pl. 2: 1258.
I799. N. Nelumbo Karst. Deutsch. Fl. 553. 1880-83.
Leaves 2°-3° in diameter, high exserted above the water or some of them floating, thin, concave, glaucous; petioles and peduncles 3°-6° long, glabrous or with scattered minute prickles; flowers 4'-10' broad, pink or sometimes white; petals oblong or elliptic, obtuse; fruit obconic, 4-5' long, 3'-4' in diameter; seeds oblong or ovoid.
Naturalized in ponds about Bordentown, N. J., where it was introduced by Mr. E. D. Sturtevant. Native of India, Persia, China, Japan and Australia. A superb plant, often cultivated. July-Aug.