Known in Louisiana as the "Graine a' Voler" or "seeds that fly" the American lotus blooms prolifically in the waterways during the hot months of June, July and August. The native American Indians used it for medicinal purposes, and as food and oil.
Considered invasive to boaters the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has been spraying the water fields with herbicides to eradicate these beautiful plants.
Local people can be seen in the water fields early in the morning harvesting the pods for the seeds which they eat as a delicacy. It is almost like the story of "the three little pigs" on the bayous to see who can get to the water fields first to pick the pods.
This flower in full bloom will soon lose its petals leaving the center pod to hold the seeds. The blue-green lily pads are quite large and hold water for birds and insects. The flower itself is the size of a large dinner plate.