A small genus comprising only 2 extant species of aquatic rhizomatous perennial flowering plants commonly known as lotus, in the Nelumbonaceae family. One of the living species, N. nucifera, is native to Asia where it is cultivated for its large showy flowers. The other, N. lutea, is native to North America and the Caribbean. They resemble waterlilies, the Nymphaeaceae genus, but are only distantly related. They have long-stalked, rounded floating leaves and striking cup-shaped flowers followed by conical seed pods. In cool climates they can be grown in indoor pools.