Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pink Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)

A friend gave me  some water lotus roots and showed me how to grow them. This is my second year with them, and I am very pleased with them. I think they will need division after this year. I persisted in calling them water lilies and my friend kept correcting me that they were lotuses. On checking the matter out, I found some differences between water lilies and lotuses. The lotus has leaves and flowers that stand well above the water, whatever the water depth,whereas the water lily's leaves and flowers lie flat on the surface of the water. Also lotus flowers have a distinct "pod" ovary in the center which lilies do not have.

You can see a you tube video here that shows the differences as well as some gorgeous pictures.

As you see, I grow my lotuses in a kid's pool and they overwintered there nicely in spite of our very cold winter. At the bottom of the pool is a layer of red clay that they are growing in.

The seed pods made wonderful additions to dried arrangements and wreaths.

Wikipedia says the oldest known germination of a lotus seed was one found in a dry lake bed in China and was 1300 years old. I had previously heard that the oldest know seed germination was from a pyramid in Egypt, but I have not tried to verify this.

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