Common name: Sacred Lotus, Oriental Lotus, Indian Lotus
Height at maturity: see description
Plant type: aquatic plant
Flowering: from March to September
Flower color: pink
Soil type: aquatic environment
Use: ponds, lake, basins, bodies of water
Diseases and Pests:-
Storage of seeds: 1300 years in a dry place away from light at 3/4°C (refrigerator)
The sacred lotus is an aquatic plant, perennial thanks to its stem in spongy, thick, branched rhizome, bearing tubers fixed in the bottom of the pond. Its rounded, peltate leaves, up to 50 cm in diameter, are either floating, flat, or erect up to 75 cm above the water, orbicular, cup-shaped. Their surface is particularly water-repellent. Although it prefers shallow water, the plant can survive up to 2.4 m deep.
The flowers, pinkish white, are large, 15 to 30 cm in diameter, and have about twenty petals. They are carried by long peduncles and reach or exceed the highest leaves. They also have the property of being thermoregulatory. They can generate heat to maintain a temperature of between 30°C and 36°C during the pollination period3. It could be a mechanism to attract pollinating insects.
The compound “fruit” is made up of the fleshy floral receptacle; it looks like a watering can head with 15 to 20 cells each containing an achene the size of a small hazelnut.
The seeds of the sacred lotus hold the record for longevity (dormancy). Indeed, a team of researchers from UCLA has managed to germinate a seed dating back around 1,300 years from the dry bed of an ancient lake in Pulantien, in the Chinese province of Liaoning. This longevity is attributed to the very hard and tight pericarp which covers the fruit and protects it from humidity and external agents. (Source: wikipedia).