|Binomial name||Nelumbo nucifera|
Other Common Names:
The other common names for the lotus flower are Kamal, renkon, hasu, lian, Egyptian lotus, teratai, sacred water - lily, sacred lotus, bunga telpok, ngau,baino, nelun ala and bua-luang.
An aquatic plant of spectacular beauty, that provides food from every part of the plant. To see a pond covered in sacred lotus in bloom is a magnificent, awe-inspiring sight. Large pink or white fragrant flowers (or other colours) 30cm or more across, stand on long slender stems, often rising a metre above the water. The fruits are a conical pod with seeds contained in holes in the pod. Nucifera means "having hard fruit". Native to Greater India and commonly cultivated in water gardens, the lotus is the national flower of India and Vietnam of its own unique family and order tree. According to the U S Department of Agriculture, water lilies make up the family Nymphaeaceae of the order Nymphaeales.
Sacred lotus is an aquatic perennial, originally from Indonesia and India. This plant is growing abundantly in Suriname. It grows-up to a height of 19 feet depending on the dept of the swamp or creek it is growing in. The roots of sacred lotus are firmly planted in the mud beneath the water surface and the plant has long stems to which the leaves and flowers are attached. The big circular leaves are floating at the surface and the flowers above it. These flowers open early in the morning and can be 9 inches across.
Lotus is widely distributed in Western Asia from Iran eastwards to China, Japan and Australia.
It is generally found in Found in ponds and swamps. The plant prefers light sandy, medium loamy and heavy clay soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It can grow in water.
Requires a rich loam. Succeeds in water up to 2.5 metres deep. In cooler climates, however, it should be grown in shallower water, though no less than 30 cm deep, which will warm up more quickly and encourage better growth and flowering. The plant is happiest with water temperatures of 23 - 27°c in the growing season and requires a five month growing season. Seed - file the seed across its centre, being very careful not to damage the flesh of the seed, and soak in warm water, changing the water twice a day until signs of germination are seen, which should be within 3 - 4 weeks at 25°c. Plant in individual pots just covered in water and increase the depth as the plant grows. Division in spring as the plant comes into growth. Be very careful, the plants deeply resent root disturbance.
Lotus Flower Petals, Lotus Seeds, Lotus Leaves and Lotus Roots are the most commonly used parts of the plant for its commercial and medicinal applications.
The flowers which have a sweet fruity perfume are in bloom from July to August. But however there are different varities which are in bloom throughout the year.
Pests and Diseases
In Japan, rhizome rots have caused a considerable reduction in lotus root production; two organisms have been identified, Bacillus nelumblii and Fusarium bulbigenum Wr. nelumbicolum, and are associated with iron deficiency, especially on light sandy soils. Rice root worm, Donacia provostii, also affects the crop in some areas, but effective control is reported to be obtained by a pre-planting application of carbofuran at 5 kg/ha or chlorpyrifos at 2-5 kg/ha.
• Applications are against diarrhea, hemorrhoids; the seeds are used against fever and insomnia.
• The flowers are used against syphilis; fruit: the pods are used to stop bleeding.
• The rhizomes or leaves are used with other herbs to treat sunstroke, fever, diarrhoea, dysentery, dizziness, vomiting of blood, haemorrhoids.
• The whole plant is used as an antidote to mushroom poisoning.
• The embryonic seeds for high fever, cholera (Chinese), nervous disorders and insomnia; the seeds to stop vomiting, relieve indigestion and diarrhoea or just as a tonic.
• Flowers pounded petals for syphilis; for cosmetic unguents and the flower stalk with other herbs to treat bleeding from the uterus.
• The essence is used to help energise the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys and intestines, for tissue regeneration, to slow the ageing process, and is used as a general cleanser for the whole system.
• Lotus is also believed to heighten creative ability and mind power, and induce a sense of ease and peace.
• In the Asian kitchen, the petals are placed in soups or used as garnish.
• The seeds can be roasted while the rhizomes can be boiled
• The petals steeped in wine or teas have a calming effect.
• They are a popular ingredient in local desserts like "cheng teng".
• The large circular leaves may be used to wrap food such as in lotus rice.
• The stamens are used to flavour tea.
• The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.
To Buddhists, the flower represents the perpetual cycles of reincarnation. Buddha is said to be born in the heart of a lotus flower and he is often depicted sitting in a lotus flower or on its leaf. The Hindus associate the flower with the creation of the world. In Japan, it is also held as a symbol of purity and beauty. In Ancient Egypt, another species (Nymphaea lotus) was also a strong symbol in daily and religious life. Hindus associate the lotus blossom with creation mythology, and with the gods Vishnu, Brahma, and Lakshmi.
From ancient times the lotus has been a divine symbol in Hindu tradition. It is often used as an example of divine beauty, for example Sri Krishna is often described as the 'Lotus-Eyed One'. Its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. Recall that both Brahma and Lakshmi, the Divinities of potence and Wealth, have the lotus symbol associated with them as their seats.
BJP, a nationalist political party of India which claims to be at the forefront of India's cultural nationalism, uses the lotus as its election symbol. Japanese rock musician Miyavi uses the lotus with the kanji of his name meaning 'elegance', as his insignia. Vietnam Airlines's logo comprises of a golden lotus as is also mentioned in their frequent flyer program, the Golden Lotus Plus.