(nee-lum' bo)

Common name: Lotus

Family: Nelumbonaceae, Nelumbo

Height x width: 3-6' x 3-4'

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: rounded 2-3' across, blue-green, on top of tall stalks, very water repellent

Flowers: various shades of pinks and yellows or red; 8-12" across on top of tall stems in summer, may be fragrant

Hardiness: zones 4-5 to 10

Soil: wet at water depths of 1-3' deep

Light: sun

Pests and Problems: leafspot, aphids, Japanese beetle (none usually serious)

Landscape habit, uses: water gardens

Other interest: nucifera held sacred in India and the Far East; in warm climates they may be grown for culinary use as stalks, roots and seeds are edible

Other culture: may not bloom reliably in low light levels and lack of serious heat of northern U.S. and northern Europe; if grown outside, water level should be more shallow in cool and late season weather in order to stay warmer; bring indoors and keep just moist overwinter for those non-hardy

Propagation: division of rhizome (difficult as it resent disturbance), seeds (scarified) and sown in spring in rich loam under several inches of water; as plant grows place in deeper water


nucifera (new-si' fer-ah)--East Indian, Sacred Lotus; native to southern Asia and Australia, introduced to the Nile around 500BC but now extinct there; zones 5-10 although species is generally 9-10; pinks to white blooms to 6' and fragrant

lutea (lew-tee' ah)--American Lotus; native to eastern N. America, zones 4-10, yellow blooms to 3'



Many developed by Perry Slocum. All nucifera except lutea var. flavescens.
Cultivar flowers other  
'Alba' white    
'Alba Grandiflora' white, over 1' across, cupped fragrant  
'Alba Striata' white, globular, pale pink edges    
'Angel Wings' white, long tulip-shaped    
'Baby Doll' white, single dwarf  
'Carolina Queen' mauve pink    
'Caspium' dark rose, large, fragrant native to Russia  
'Charles Thomas' pink fading lavender dwarf  
'Chawan Basu' white edged pink semi-dwarf  
'Empress' white edged crimson    
var. flavescens lemon-yellow, red basal spots strong scent  
'Giant Sunburst' yellow, large    
'Hindu' pink, creamy yellow center    
'Kermisina' red, double Japanese origin  
'Lavender Lady' bluish-pink, white bases, large    
'Maggie Belle Slocum' mauve, large, inner petals rolled fragrant  
'Momo Botan' carmine, double small  
'Mrs. Perry D. Slocum' rose aging creamy yellow, double best U.S. cultivar  
'Perry's Giant Sunburst' light yellow, large    
'Perry's Super Star' light red, double    
'Pygmaea Alba' pure white, small 4" wide 1' tall  
'Queen' creamy yellow, fragrant ruffled leaves  
'Red Lotus' rosy red, large    
'Rosea Plena' pink to red, double, very large fragrant  
'Rubrum' red, large    
'Sharon' pink to red, double, large    
'Shirokunshi'  creamy-white, tulip-shaped semi-dwarf  
'Shiroman' cream tinged green fading white Japanese, double  
'Speciosum' pink, large    
'The Queen' creamy yellow, large    
'Tulip' pure white, tulip-shaped dwarf  

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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