Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Parrot's Beak, Coral Gem, Pelican's Beak
Lotus berthelotii

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lotus (LO-tus) (Info)
Species: berthelotii (berth-eh-LOT-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Lotus hornklee

33 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
5 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive antonpohl On Jan 12, 2015, antonpohl from bethlehem
South Africa wrote:

I have purchased 2 parrot beaks and are they in hanging baskets.The one blooms excellently but the other one only have good foliage but does it not want to flower at all.

The 2 plant is situated 1 meter from each other and receives the same amount of water and food.

Can you advise me what the problem my be.

Neutral Suza55 On Oct 22, 2014, Suza55 from Myrtle Point, OR wrote:

Plant is flourishing in a container, but hasn't bloomed since planted this summer.

Neutral handy911 On Sep 16, 2014, handy911 from Redondo Beach, CA wrote:

I have the Parrot's Beak out in my front yard. I recently moved to this house, so I'm not sure how long they have been there. However, I have noticed that some of the plants are drying up or browing and died. The others seem to be happy and grow everyday. So, I'm not sure if I do anything wrong, such as overwater on some areas that do not drain well or if I need to fertilize. Summer time almost ends now. Are they considered annuals, by any chance? Is it normal that they die during the hot summer months?

Negative Oceaangirl On Jun 25, 2012, Oceaangirl from Torrance, CA wrote:

Love the plant but sad - I lost it to mealy bugs!!!!

I discovered this plant last fall; perfect for coastal CA in a brick flowerbed. It spilled over a 12" brick wall - bloomed non-stop and grew thick and quickly.

A week ago I noticed browning, 2 days later most of the plant was brown; i lifted it up and found that the underside covered with mealy bugs... not just a few...literally covered. Within 24 hours, the entire 5x5 space of plant was almost gone. I applied a soapy spray by Bayer and not only did it kill the mealy bugs, but also killed was left of the plant.

SO, disappointed. I can only guess that it was so thick and heavy it didn't 'breath' underneath and one bug turned into a thriving colony in the dampness.

:( I have cleared out all the infected plant, sprayed again for the mealy bugs and want to find another plant and restart.

If anyone has info or suggestions for avoiding this again, PLEASE let me know!

Positive danpv On May 25, 2008, danpv from Camarillo, CA wrote:

I recently bought this plant in a 10" pot in full bloom. I've placed it in full sun on my patio and it's doing very well.

I water it approximately every other day in this warming early summer weather. In the short time I've had this plant, it has shown good growth. I placed several fertilizer spikes in the pot - not sure if this will suffice.

Its flowers are the local hummingbirds' favorite - preferred, thus far, over all the other types of flowers I have that are supposed to attract hummers.

Neutral palmbob On May 5, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I agree with the intense need for water... planted in well draining soil which was probably a mistake and have to water them more than any other plant in the yard just to keep them alive... they suck up water! But if you do water them daily, they look great, grow really fast, and before you know it, they are covering everything! Unfortunately took a short trip and person watering skipped 3 hot days and now plants are gone. Nothing else is that much the worse for wear... amazing! Probably better as a potted plant.

Neutral CatherineRC On May 5, 2004, CatherineRC from Redwood City, CA wrote:

I have not found the lotus species to be drought tolerant though quite worth growing. I moved both of mine from hanging (moss) baskets to large clay containers this year and they are both much happier. They were drying out faster than I could keep up with. They are also now in partial shade as well. Thanks for the insight into their need for fertilizer. I use only organics, but did notice a flush of bloom after a spring dose!

Positive jkom51 On Apr 20, 2003, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Although very tender, this plant has such unusual flowers it is really worth giving a try. Mine are still tiny (1 qt size) but we saw one at a nursery display that was at least 3' long and covered with blooms. My non-gardening husband doesn't pay much attention to individual plants, but he stopped and stared at that display! Even when small, they will bloom.

I have two, one in a pot and one in the garden. Interestingly enough, the one in the pot is doing better and has bloomed first. The blooms last a very long time, over a month if you leave them on the plant. Don't know if they make good cut flowers or not.

June 2003: the potted LB is still doing better than the in-ground sibling! Interesting. Blooms almost continually. VERY heavy feeder. Every time I fertilize it, plant seems to put forth a new, heavier flush of flowers two weeks later. Definitely a specimen worth the care.

August 2003: the in-ground lotus STILL has not bloomed, whereas I have lost count of how many times its potted sibling has rebloomed! A heavy feeder and very thirsty in a pot (some water-holding crystals are called for at its next repotting, I think), also appreciates a shot of humic acid every once in a while. Occasionally gets a bit chlorotic in the pot.

Neutral BotanyBob On Aug 25, 2001, BotanyBob from Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:

This plant makes a great ground cover and is actually a pretty drought tolerant plant in Southern California. Blooms much better in full sun than shade.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler, Arizona
Goodyear, Arizona
Bonsall, California
Camarillo, California
Carlsbad, California
Emerald Lake Hills, California
Martinez, California
Oakland, California
Pleasanton, California
San Francisco, California
San Marcos, California
Santa Clara, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Torrance, California
Tulare, California
Aurora, Colorado
Hilo, Hawaii
Cleveland, Ohio
Mark Center, Ohio
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Myrtle Point, Oregon
Troutdale, Oregon
Fair Play, South Carolina
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Midland, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Kalama, Washington

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