Today I’m excited to share a new photo I captured recently at Reeve’s Slough in the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. This photo features a seed pod from the magnificent American Lotus plant.

American Lotus Seed Pod

American Lotus Seed Pod

The American Lotus is an aquatic plant found throughout the eastern United States. It has large, round leaves that can grow over 2 feet wide and beautiful yellow flowers. After the flowers fade away, the plant develops its seed pods.

The seed pods start out green and plump, containing rows of edible seeds inside. As the pod matures and dries, it turns brown and splits open to release the seeds. The seeds can be eaten by humans, tasting similar to chestnuts with a sweet, nutty flavor. However, it’s important to note that removing or collecting the seeds from protected areas like National Wildlife Refuges is prohibited. While the seeds are edible, allowing them to fall back into the water to propagate is crucial to maintaining healthy American Lotus populations in these conserved habitats. As a photographer, I enjoy simply observing and documenting the plant’s seed dispersal process while leaving the ecosystem undisturbed. The dried seed pods have an intricate, lattice-like texture that I find very photogenic. Capturing images of the drying pods allows you to showcase the unique natural artistry of this plant.

For all their beauty, the seed pods serve an important ecological function. The seeds provide food for waterfowl and other wildlife. Groups of seed pods can create habitat and shade for small fish. Once released, the seeds float on the water’s surface and can disperse to colonize new areas.

Photographing the American Lotus when its seed pods are at various stages of maturity allows me to document the plant’s full lifecycle. I’m fortunate that Reeve’s Slough has an abundance of American Lotus, making it easy to observe and photograph the changes the plant undergoes throughout the seasons.

If you want to learn more about this magnificent aquatic plant, check out my earlier blog post: The Magnificent American Lotus.

Equipment Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM

Technical Details:

  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: July 18, 2023 (06:49A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f10
  • Shutter speed: 1/200
  • ISO: 6400 (Auto)
  • Exp. Comp.: +0.7
  • Focal Length: 400 mm