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.
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