Species Detail

Nelumbo lutea Willd. Pers.
American lotus; water chinquapin


Scientific Name:  
Nelumbo lutea Willd. Pers.
Common Name:  
American lotus; water chinquapin
Myaamia Name:  
poohkihsškwaliaki
Uses:  
Food
Harvest Seasons:  
Fall, Spring
Habitats:  
Wet Prairie grasslands with flooding
Locations:  
Undetermined
Growth Forms:  
Herb, Wild

Myaamia Archival Sources  
Nelumbo lutea Willd. Pers.
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
No Reference Specified Description  "This root has large leaves that spread out on the water; like what we call votets; but they are much larger. Between two of these leaves issues something shaped like the body of a drinking-glass in which are the seeds; which are as big as hazelnuts."
No Reference Specified Description  "The missionary dictionary; ascribed to Le Boullenger; preserved in the John Carter Brown Library; at Providence; gives the following definitions: "pokicorewaki; hollow roots"; "micopena; large root in the water"; "apena; pl. apeniki; potatoes"; wicapisia; root for guarding themselves from death from serpents that they fear. The bulb is white; and rises out of the ground. The stem is a foot high; the leaves of four ribs or on four sides; and a little red button on the top"
No Reference Specified Description  "It has the appearance of a root; about half as thick as ones arm; or a little more; it also has firm flesh; and externally resembles an arm; in one word; you would say at sight of these roots that they are great radishes. But cut it across the two ends; and it is no longer the same thing; for you find inside it a cavity in the middle; extending throughout its length around which are five or six other smaller cavities; which also run from end to end" "The shape of the dry top is like a crown; of red color; it is as large as the bottom of a plate; and is full of seeds in every way resembling hazelnuts;" "The Miami name is pok-ci-kwal-ya-ki; i.e. full of holes; or nostrils
No Reference Specified Use - Food  roots cooked; "They gather also in these same marshes [as the macopines] other roots which are as big as ones arm and which are all full of holes. These give them no trouble to prepare; they merely cut them into pieces half as thick as ones wrist; string them; and hang them to dry in the sun of in the smoke"
No Reference Specified Use - Food  root eaten and seeds made to make soup. "To eat it; you must cook it over a brazier; and you will find that it tastes like chestnuts. The savages are accustomed to make provision of this root; they cut it into pieces and string them on a cord; in order to dry them in the smoke. When these pieces are thoroughly dry; and as hard as wood; they put them into bags and keep them as long as they wish. If they boil their meat in a kettle; they also cook therein this root; which thus becomes soft and; when they wish to eat; it answers for bread with their meat." " . . . when these [seeds from the dried top] are roasted under hot cinders they taste just like chestnuts"
No Reference Specified Use - Food  roots prepared and eaten. "This plant is plainly Nelumbium luteum - the American lotus; yellow water-lily; water chinquepin; wankapin or yoncopin. Sarah Wadsworth informed me that the common mode of its preparation by the Miami women was to gather the roots tubers; soak them in lye to loosen the skin; and then peel and boil them. The seeds were likewise soaked in lye; and shelled. Of these they made soup or cooked them as desired. The Miami name of the plant is "pokcikwalyaki" i.e. full of holes; or nostrils; which will be appreciated by those who are familiar with the plant"
No Reference Specified Use - Food  roots cooked and eaten. "poakshikwileearkee; which means hollow root is similar in size to the white water lily; and grows in the same place--wet prairies. It is boiled with meat or eaten raw; as opposed to white water lily macopines and is said to be very good to eat"
No Reference Specified Use - Food  "the word makopin is not used by the Miamis. It is understood to have been the name given to the water chinkapin; nelumbo lutea; comonly known as the yoncopin or wankapin--the pokekoretch of Nicolas Perrots memoir. The Miamis call this pokcikwalyaki; i.e. full of holes. They used this to eat the roots of this; and make soup of the seeds
No Reference Specified Horticultural Info  "Also in winter they dig from under the ice; or where there is much mud and little water; a certain root; of better quality than that which I have just mentioned; but it is only found in the Louisiana country; some fifteen leagues above the entrance to the Ouisconching [Wisconsin River]. The savages call this root; in their own language; pokekoretch; and the French give it no other name; because nothing at all resembling it is seen in EuropeThe women gather this root; and recognize it by the dried stem; which appears sticking up above the ice"
Botanical Sources  
Nelumbo lutea Willd. Pers.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
No Reference Specified   Occurs in quiet waters in streams; floodplains and ponds
No Reference Specified   "they dig . . .a certain root . . .only found in the Louisiana country; some fifty leagues above below the mouth of the Wisconsin"
Related Sources  
Nelumbo lutea Willd. Pers.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
No Reference Specified   The Miami word; phonetically spelled; is pokci-kwal-ya-ki. ". . . the word makopin is not used by the Miamis. It is understood to have been the name given to the water chinkapin; Nelumbo lutea; commonly known as the yoncopin; or wankapin--the pokekoretch of Nicolas Perrots memoir. The Miami call this pokcikwalyaki; i.e. full of holes. They used to eat the roots of this and make soup of the seeds"
No Reference Specified   Gatschet also listed part of a Miami term "poohk. ." potentially referencing the same plant
No Reference Specified   Gravier listed the Miami-Illinois terms; "cassicassireca8aki, 8abisipiniki;" and "p8kwic8re8aki" as some type of white water onion or wild lotus