Nelumbo nucifera (Sacred Lotus, Indian Lotus, Bean Of India) is a remarkable aquatic plant with cultural, religious, and ornamental significance. It is native to Asia, particularly India and China, and is revered in many Eastern cultures. Appearance: Sacred Lotus is an aquatic perennial plant with large, circular leaves that float on the water's surface. The leaves can grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter and have a distinct round shape with upturned edges. The plant produces beautiful, fragrant flowers that are typically pink or white, though cultivars with yellow or red flowers are also available. The flowers can reach up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter.
Habitat and cultivation: Nelumbo nucifera is typically found in shallow freshwater areas, such as ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams. It prefers warm, tropical to subtropical climates and requires full sun to thrive. The plant is known for its ability to grow in muddy or silty soils at the bottom of water bodies. In cultivation, it can be grown in containers or specifically designed water gardens.
Growing conditions: When cultivating Sacred Lotus, it is important to provide it with a suitable aquatic environment. The plant requires water depths of about 1 to 4 feet (30 to 120 cm) to grow properly. The water should be still or have gentle movement, as strong currents may damage the delicate leaves and flowers. Additionally, the plant benefits from rich, loamy soil with good organic content.
Ornamental use: Due to its striking beauty, the Sacred Lotus is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. It is often featured in water gardens, ponds, and naturalistic aquatic landscapes. The large leaves and showy flowers create an enchanting focal point and attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Hardy and perennial: Nelumbo nucifera is a hardy perennial plant that can withstand a range of temperatures, from hot summers to mild winters. In colder climates, it may die back during winter but will regrow from the rhizome in the following growing season.
As the Sacred Lotus is a significant plant with cultural and ecological importance, it is essential to respect and follow any regulations or guidelines regarding its cultivation, particularly if you are planning to grow it in its native range.