A review of the literature shows that natural resource managers have a Jekyll and Hyde relationship with the American lotus. The species' native range encompasses the eastern and central portions of the United States from Maine to Wisconsin and southward from Florida to Texas (USDA, 2009).
Radiometric plant canopy reflectance measurements were made on three common aquatic plant species: waterhyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), American lotus (Nelumbo lutea) and hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata).
Reflectance values differed significantly (P = 0.05) among the three species at the visible green wavelength, with American lotus having the highest reflectance and hydrilla the lowest.
American lotus and waterhyacinth had significantly higher (P=0.05) reflectance at the NIR wavelength than hydrilla (Table 1).
American lotus, waterhyacinth and hydrilla could be distinguished in CIR aerial photographs (not shown) obtained on 11 August 1998 at Lake Texana.