Specie: N. nucifera
Indian Lotus, Sacred Lotus, Bean of India
Name in Latin: Nelumbonaceae
Name in English: Lotus
Origin: oldest recorded lotus 1300 years old recovered in China, native to tropical Asia and Queensland, Australia.
Growth Habit: perennial aquatic plant with rhizomes (often mistakenly called 'roots')
Flower: flowers are on thick stems above the leaves . The seed pod is widely used in the industry as it transports well and survives longer than the flower. The flowers , seeds and roots are all edible.
Blooming Period: mid summer
Leaf: Large, peltate (with the leaf-stalk attaching to the centre, rather than the edge) leaves rise above the water surface on 1 to 2 m long petioles. The strikingly water-repellent leaf surface has inspired the term 'lotus effect'. This term describes the leaves' self-cleaning capacity which is a result of dirt particles being picked up by water droplets due to a complex nanostructure of the leaf surface, which minimises adhesion.Leaves may grow as large as 60 cm
flower used as feature focus, pod excellent for texture and interest. Pod is also widely used as dried flower.
Nelumbo nucifera has been in cultivation in China for more than 3,000 years, and has been grown not only for its cultural and ornamental value, but also for medicinal uses and for its edible ‘seeds’ and rhizomes. In China, Japan and India, for example, the rhizomes are roasted, pickled, candied or sliced and fried as chips. A paste made from the nutlets is used as a filling in ‘mooncakes’, traditional Chinese pastries. The young leaves, leaf stalks and flowers are eaten as vegetables in India.
Care and Handling
Lasting Quality: pod: 5-7 days, flower 5 days
Amount of water: moderate
Nutrition: floral preservative/food
Special handling: will thrive for years
National flower of India and Vietnam The lotus is not a water lily. It is reported that the lotus has the ability to regulate the temperature of its flowers like other warmblooded animals do.
Recent molecular research has shown that the closest living relatives of the sacred lotus are the plane trees (Platanus spp., Platanaceae) and members of the protea family (Proteaceae).