Indo-American Interconnected Overtones: Nucifera and Lutea

I stumbled upon one more connection between India and America last year but it took me a while to note it down here – the divine and royal lotus. Have always fancied lotus since a little girl starting with the golden lotus in “pottramarai kulam” of Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai. Goddess of wealth is supposed to have her residence in lotus, rather the scared lotus. I never knew something like lotus could create a beautiful link until I read about the yellow lotus of America.

Nelumbo nucifera, a perennial aquatic is the national flower of India also known as the “bean of India”. It is native to hot Asian tropics. With roots deep in the muddy soil, lotus shoots up its leaves over the surface area of water on an average of about three feet. Showy leaves and flowers captivate the eyes and is a staple of water gardens. Lotus can live over a thousand years. Lotus being associated with divinity is used in prayers. Different parts of lotus such as stem, rhizome are used in cooking and herbal medicines.

Nelumbo lutea, commonly known as American lotus or yellow lotus is native to North America. The distribution of the species ranges from Minnesota to Florida, Mexico, Honduras, and the Caribbean. It was distributed to the North by Native Americans as a food source. The tribes also treated the American lotus as a sacred plant with mystical powers, and used parts of the plant for medicinal purposes.

Indian Lotus

Indian Lotus

American Lotus

American Lotus

Indian Lotus American Lotus
Kingdom Plantae Plantae
(unranked) Angiosperms Angiosperms
(unranked) Eudicots Eudicots
Order Proteales Proteales
Family Nelumbonaceae Nelumbonaceae
Genus Nelumbo Nelumbo
Species N. nucifera N. lutea


One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus is untouched by water. — Bhagavad Gita 5.10


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