A beautiful aquatic plant
Nelumbo Lotus Flower
The holy lotus flower is an aquatic plant in the family Nelumboanceae. This aquatic plant can have different colors of flowers. Depending on the species. The most common species are white and pink. There are also species with yellow and red flowers. The heart of the flower consists of a fruit which looks like a cut cone. In this cone the seed is formed from which new lotuses can grow. The plant roots in a swampy soil. The leaf of the Lotus is miraculous. The microscopic structure of the leaf and the secretion of a chemical substance ensure that the leaf never gets wet. Water droplets roll right off the leaf, taking the dirt and insects present with them.
The lotus is self-cleaning, which is why the lotus flower is a symbol of purity in Hinduism and Buddhism.
Lotus flowers from our own nursery
Lotus flower growth
Several species of lotus can grow up to 5 feet long. These species can grow in deeper water than the small-growing lotus plant, which enthusiasts keep in Europe. The high growing species can not be kept in Europe. The temperature is not high enough. Also, most European countries suffer from strong winds, which would cause the long stems to break off. The species kept in Europe usually do not grow taller than about 120 centimeters and are kept in a round dish of maximum 40 centimeters deep. The best thing one can do is to make a soil of clay granules. The advantage of clay granules is that they expand and form a whole. The lotus roots have a hold here and will grow well. The round shape of the bowl ensures that the roots, which become long due to the strong growth, grow around the bowl several times.
Order clay granules
The advantage of clay granules is that they expand and start to form a whole. The lotus roots have a hold here and will grow well.
Lotus plant distribution
The lotus is native to Indonesia and India. The plants have spread further to Thailand, China, Korea and Japan, among others. As long as the rhizomes do not freeze, a lotus can also survive in the cold European countries.
The roots, seeds, flowers and young leaves of the lotus can be eaten and taste very good. In most real Chinese restaurants, lotus roots are used in mostly the vegetarian dishes. The large leaves, sometimes over 50 centimeters in diameter, are often used to wrap the food.
The meaning of the lotus
The lotus has great significance in in Buddhism and Hinduism. The white flower is a symbol of divine purity and represents purity at birth. The symbol of the lotus is widely used in depicting purity and openness, just think of the open lotus position.
If one wishes to purchase a lotus then there are two options.
- You are purchasing a lotus plant rhizome. Unfortunately, there are very few lotus plants for sale. When the flowers are in full bloom, they look like peonies. These flowers also attract bees, butterflies and dragonflies. It is important to keep these plants in a frost-free place during the winter.
- Another option is to grow your lotus from seed. This does not have to be difficult provided you follow the proper instruction. It is much cheaper than buying a lotus plant. The nice thing is that you can follow the special growing process. When you enjoy the first flowers this flower also has a story. Your care makes the lotus what it can become: a unique plant whose flowers can also smell wonderful. Did you know that the lotus seed has a very long shelf life? The oldest active seed found in China was 1300 years old!
What is the difference between a water lily and a lotus flower ?
Although there are similarities at first glance, geneticists have discovered that the water lily and the lotus are not related. Among water lilies, there are more than 50 species and about a hundred hybrids.
The lotus has only two species and forms its own family in the botanical system. One lotus species is native to South America, the other to Asia-Australia.
Lotus leaves grow at the end of stems attached to a bulb at the bottom of the water. The flowers float several inches above the surface of the water and are wonderfully fragrant. The blooms are abundant (in full sun). They need water with a temperature above 20 degrees Celsius. In winter they can only survive in warm regions.
Lily leaves float on the water surface and are attached to the rhizome with long stems. The flowers also float on the water surface. All species and varieties of water lilies require calm, nutrient-rich water to grow and bloom. In Flanders and the Netherlands, the yellow water lily (Nuphar lutea) and the white water lily (Nymphaea alba) occur naturally.
Our hardy water lilies from our own nursery
You can buy a lotus flower at Van der Velde Waterplanten. We have a special offer where you get 2 lotus plants (Rhizomes) for €49.95 including 2 pond baskets and water plant clay.
A lotus is best planted in special pond planting clay. This clay provides a hold to keep the lotus in place when the basket is submerged. The clay also contains important minerals that promote the growth of the lotus plant.