Hardy Lotus 'Empress'

Nelumbo lutea

Family: Nelumbonaceae
Genus: Nelumbo (nee-LUM-bo) (Info)
Species: lutea (LOO-tee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Empress
Synonym:Nelumbo Empress


Ponds and Aquatics

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

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:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

Cleveland, Georgia

Silver Spring, Maryland

Lees Summit, Missouri

Ithaca, New York

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 2, 2009, hmstyl from Cleveland, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

There is a beautiful Lotus pond at Barnsley Gardens, in Adairsville, Georgia. There are many different gardens there, including an heirloom rose garden, and if you are nearby you simply must go to Barnsley Gardens and see their lotus pond.


On Nov 9, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

The Empress lotus sprouts huge 12"+ pads of a medium green that look velvety, both on the surface of the water and also held high above. In summer very beautiful large white "balls" form, steaked with a rose pink along the edges, that will eventually open to a lovely flower. They are held high above the water on strong stems. As the flowers fade they will leave behind a triangular pod containing seeds. The pod is first green, then yellow and becomes dark brown with age as it dries. Wonderful for use in dried arrangements. The pods are on the smaller side - approximately 2" in diameter - not the huge pods found in stores which sell dried flowers.

When wintering over, make sure pot is in deepest section of pond and will not freeze. Growth is fast. Needs a minimum of ... read more