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Sacred Water Lily, Lotus
Nelumbo nucifera

Family: Nelumbonaceae
Genus: Nelumbo (nee-LUM-bo) (Info)
Species: nucifera (noo-SIFF-er-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Nelumbium nelumbo
Synonym:Nelumbo speciosa
Synonym:Nelumbium speciosum
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Ponds and Aquatics

Height:

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Spacing:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

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

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pink

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Velvet/Fuzzy-Textured

Other details:

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

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

,

Union Grove, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Panama City Beach, Florida

Osage City, Kansas

New Orleans, Louisiana

Silver Spring, Maryland

Carriere, Mississippi

Piscataway, New Jersey

Brooklyn, New York

Beaufort, North Carolina

Dudley, North Carolina

Kernersville, North Carolina

Oxford, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Sandusky, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Santa Fe, Texas

Spicewood, Texas

Appomattox, Virginia

Clifton Forge, Virginia

Seattle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

4
positives
5
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Dec 7, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

An extravagantly beautiful plant, both in its flowers and its immense blue-green leaves. Its pristine beauty emerging from the mud is a staple of Asian art and spiritual iconography.

This species spreads aggressively/invasively and once going can easily take over a water feature or shallow pond.

All forms love full sun and hot summers. Bloom is poor in part shade. This is a big plant that needs lots of room.

Native to southern and east Asia and to Queensland, Australia. Most of the forms/cultivars in commerce come from the tropical end of this species' range. Few are hardy below Z7, except for a few hybrids with the much hardier N. American N. lutea like the popular 'Mrs. Perry Slocum'. Tubers can be harvested and overwintered indoors where not... read more

Neutral

On Dec 7, 2014, Scarborshannon from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a) wrote:

Can I grow this under a grow bulb indoors? In a glass container?

Neutral

On Oct 3, 2011, merrybp from New Smyrna Beach, FL wrote:

I'm not familiar with this plant but wanted to know if it is invasive in ponds?

Positive

On Jul 12, 2008, eliasastro from Athens
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

These tropical "monsters" love our very hot summer (avg. temp. 80F).
Just one month after sowing they grew the first aerial leaves! (it is usually the 6th leave). I read that after the first 4 leaves the plants need some time (of growth of the tuber) before the next leave to grow, but in my case they continued growing new leaves!

Positive

On Nov 22, 2007, KorgBoy from Townsville
Australia wrote:

This plant is extremely easy to grow from seed in tropical areas. The seed can sprout in about 3 to 4 days when kept in warm water, and it grows very fast. The seed may sometimes take longer to sprout, such as 7 days or more, depending on the behavior of the seed.

It's best to wait until the seed pod is really matured before you pick the pod and attempt to grow from seed. The signs of a mature pod is a brown pod with plump gray-black or tan colored seeds. The viable seeds are usually nice and plump, while the inviable ones are skinny or shriveled up. You can also use the plump gray-black or tan colored seeds from matured pods that are still a bit green but are just about to dry out.

I just rub the middle portion of the seed on sand paper (or a metal file), and... read more

Neutral

On Oct 19, 2006, Kell from Northern California, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

The day blooming flowers grow from 9 to 12 inches across and last for 3 days, closing every night preferably on a beetle inside whom is busy pollinating it. The flower stamen is reported to be the most potent for its medicinal value.

Positive

On Jul 21, 2004, Pameladragon from Appomattox, VA wrote:

This lotus is very easy to grow, almost too easy! If you plant it in an earthen pond it may take over and start colonizing the banks. However, ducks and geese will eat it.

I grow it in a half barrel and it blooms reliably. The tub should be half full of good garden soil and kept filled to the top with water. Annual fertilizing is a good idea. Use water lily tabs pushed down into the soil.

The stems and leaves have short spines and they can cause painful abrasions if handled carelessly.

The seeds and tuber are edible and used in chinese and other far eastern cuisine.

The seed heads are very ornamental and look wonderful in flower arrangements or in wreaths. As the stems are sometimes very brittle it is a good idea to wire t... read more

Positive

On Jun 26, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

These plants LOVE THE HEAT!!! About two months ago, I started twenty seeds from dried pods from the dried flower section of a craft store . I already have numerous aerial leaves on half of them and I think it's due to them being in black pots in FULL sun and fertilized at planting with fruit tree spikes.

Neutral

On May 10, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Origin: Australia - Aquatic plant which holds its large (around 1') velvety green leaves about 3 or more feet above the water. Goes dormant in the cold months and require water temperatures in the 75-85 F for 2 months to prosper.