by Kit Knotts - Click images to enlarge


The stately lotus, Nelumbo, with stunning leaves and flowers standing high above the water, is one the most dramatic pond ornaments of all. It comes in all sizes -- you can grow it in a bowl or let it fill a natural pond.

There are only two species in Nelumbo, lutea of North America and nucifera of Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia. Though each species is stunning in its relative simplicity, hybrids range from single flowers to "thousand petals" and can be found in a rainbow of warm colors.

An aura of mystique surrounds the lotus, adding to its appeal. Legends and myths about it are woven through the history of civilization. It is important in many cultures, religions, and even agricultures. Tubers are staples in Asian diets, making it a valuable economic crop. Seeds and leaves are also edible.

The leaves are aerial, interestingly shaped and with remarkable properties of water shedding and self cleansing. Scientists study them in an effort to replicate those properties for a number of applications and products.

Seeds can remain viable for centuries. Growing plants from seed is fun and, under the right conditions, can go from seedling to bloom in as little as six months. Named varieties can only be grown from tuber.

Nelumbo has been moved from the waterlily family to one of its own, somehow fitting for this unique and beautiful aquatic plant.


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Lotus Names - More than 600 names with color, type and links to images



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