| Known as the 'graine á
voler' (seeds that fly) in Cajun country, because as the pod dries
the seeds can pop up to 20 feet. They are often harvested for
their seeds which have a nutty flavor.
Wherever there are wetlands, Native Americans used the North
American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea) as medicine and food. They used the
seeds and root as a tea and to make a poultice to soothe
inflammation. For food they ground the root into flour, cooked the
spring leaves, baked the tubers, ate the young seeds raw or
roasted, and boiled or ground the ripe winter seeds into meal.
Sometimes they extracted an edible oil and made a kind of popcorn
with the seeds.