Lotus: The American Species

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

N. lutea, known as water-chinquapin, water-nut, duck acorn, and nelumbo, is a native of the eastern parts of the USA (but rare in the north) and of the south from Florida to Texas. It was valued as a food by American Indians. The rhizomes were baked, when they become mealy and somewhat like sweet potatoes. The seeds, which are still sometimes available as a speciality food, and have a pleasant nutty flavour, were prepared in numerous ways, including being ground for use in bread-making.