Herbs aquatic, large, with prostrate rootstock and radical, peltate leaves, with flowers large, solitary, on long, upright scapes, 4 - 5-sepaled; petals numerous, arranged in many rows, as are also the stamens, ovaries separate, each with a simple style and stigma, becoming in fruit 1-seeded nuts half sunk in the hollows of the very large torus, the seeds with largely developed embryo, and no albumen.
This order comprises but a single genus with 2 species, viz., N. speciosum, supposed to be the sacred Egyptian bean of the E. Indies; the other, as follows. The nuts are nutritive, and also at certain seasons, the farinaceous rhizomes.
NELUMBIUM, Juss. Nelumbo. Characters of the genus the same as those of the order.
N. luteum L. A magnificent flowering plant, frequent in the stagnant waters of the South and West; in Sodus Bay, N. Y. (Williams); Lyme, Ct.; near Philadelphia, eta Rhizome creeping in mud in depths of water from 2 or 3 to 6f From this arise the simple scapes and petioles to the surface. Lvs. 10 - 18' diam., orbicular, entire, concave, the petioles inserted at the center. Fls. several times larger than those of Nymplaea odorata, fragrant. Petals concave, obtuse, light-yellow, 3 - 4' in length. The nuts imbedded in the torus are about the size of acorns, and remarkable for the large, leafy embryo. June (S.) - Aug.