Profile -

Lotus Expert
Daike Tian

China and USA

Click images to enlarge

Daike has named this new
Nelumbo cultivar N. 'Pink Lips'
and has several others under consideration, below.

Daike Tian, son of Bangzhi Xian and Renwang Tian, was born in 1968, in Longshan, Hunan, People's Republic of China. He began to amass plant knowledge planting fruit trees, ornamentals, and vegetables when he was a child.

He graduated from Longshan First High School, Hunan, in 1989. He immediately entered Hunan Normal University (HNU) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology in June 1993. After graduation, he worked for three years as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Biology of HNU.  

Hybrid of N. 'Space 36'
and N. lutea
In August 1996, he entered the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing and graduated with a Master of Science in botany from Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB), CAS, in August 1999. From 1999 to 2000, he worked as a Visiting Scholar in the Botanical Gardens of Toyama in Japan. After returning to China, he worked as Research Assistant at KIB, CAS, for one year and then moved to Shanghai and worked in a horticultural company. He married Yuying Sang in 2000 and has a daughter Olivia I. Tian. 

In August 2004, he entered Auburn University as a Graduate Research Assistant to pursue a Doctor of Science degree in Horticulture. He was awarded his PhD on August 9, 2008. Recently, he worked on production and postharvest of lotus (Nelumbo) in containers (part I of dissertation), tissue culture of peony (part II of dissertation), introduction, propagation and evaluation of herbaceous peonies and lotus, and insects of lotus plants (extension projects).

His past work included plant taxonomy, management of provincial herbarium, ex situ conservation of plants, breeding, propagation, production and evaluation of ornamental plants, forcing flowering, landscape use of ornamental plants, and plant tissue culture. He also has much experience in field investigation, nursery demonstrations, and teaching of college undergraduate and high school classes.

Daike with lotus rhizome harvest
at Auburn University

Seedling of N. 'Camelia Red'

So far, he has investigated, planted, and propagated more than 1,000 species (about 2,000 taxa) of woody and herbaceous plants, fruits, and vegetables. This experience has given him a great working knowledge with an array of diverse plants. He has published three new Begonia species, produced 13 new cultivars of Begonia, and five new cultivars of Nelumbo.

His recent research has led Auburn University to have the most extensive collection of lotus in North America and the collection of herbaceous peony to be the largest in the south. In his research at Auburn, he developed an optimal procedure to propagate peonies by tissue culture and his results make a year-round production of cut peony flowers possible.

Enthusiasm for plants, passion for seeking and breeding new ornamental plants, experience in both the field and lab, his knowledge, education and contacts with many cultures, good relationships with many universities, botanical gardens, and nurseries, are rounded out by skills in computer, photography, and landscape design, as well as his multi-language ability. Daike is currently seeking employment in the plant world.  

Seedling of N. 'Maggie Belle Slocum'

Read Daike's Cover Story on Nelumbo in
WGI ONLINE Journal 3.4

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