The lotus Nelumbo nucífera ) is an aquatic plant . It is the national flower of India . It is a sacred flower and has been, since time immemorial, a symbol of good omen in Indian culture . It symbolizes purity, beauty, majesty, grace, fertility, abundance, wealth, wisdom, and serenity.


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  • 1 Origin
    • 1 Known names
  • 2 Features
  • 3 varieties
  • 4 Agrotechnics
  • 5 Significance
  • 6 Legend
    • 1 The lotus flower in Buddhism
  • 7 Taxonomy
  • 8 Etymology
  • 9 Synonymy
  • 10 Sources


It comes from Asia and is found in swampy areas.

Known names

Lotus flower

  • Lotus
  • Lotus flower
  • Sacred lotus
  • Nelumbo
  • Asian lotus
  • Indian Lotus
  • Indian lotus
  • Indian lotus
  • Egyptian bean
  • Egypt lotus
  • Nelumbio
  • Chinese water lily
  • Rose of the nile


A nuchiferous nelumbo.

  • The leaves of this plant are simple, bare, emerged or floating, they have a self-cleaning system. The surface of its leaves is made up of numerous and very small packages that make the water droplets have a rounded shape due to the high surface tension of the leaf and thus slide completely over its entire surface, dragging the dust with it. , which also fails to adhere (superhydrophilia) and which would be a real problem for a plant with such large leaves.
  • Perennial aquatic herbs, with horizontal rhizomes and banana-shaped tubers at the end of the rhizomes at the end of the growing season, articulated laticifers present, cuticle with wax in grouped tubules. Knots with adventitious roots, a leaf and a fleshy cataphyll wrapping its base on one side, another opposite cataphyll. Absent induction.
  • Rhizomatous stems, xylem without vessels, secretory cavities present, with latex. Rhizomes, roots and petioles with developed aerenchyma, leaving large intercellular spaces, the cells that line the air channels with accumulations of calcium oxalate crystals. Beams of collateral vessels, scattered, without cambium. Leaf blade with secretory cavities containing latex, without sclerenchymal idioblasts. Roots with xylem vessels.
  • Perfect, actinomorphic, solitary, apparently axillary flowers, without bractéolas, hypogynous, with spiral perianth, large (10-100 cm in diameter), with a cortical vascular system, pink, white or yellowish, above the surface of water on cylindrical peduncles up to 2 m. long. Obconical receptacle, large, truncated, spongy, ribbed to rough sides. Perianth usually expired, overlapped, with 2 (-8) sepals and (10-) 20-30 petals. Androecium of 200-300 (-400) stamens free, filantereous, tetraporal, anthers, non-versatile, latrorsal or intrusive, or those of the external extrusive members and those of the internal intrusive, prolonged connective in a uncinate, flat or nailed appendix, thermogen, longitudinal dehiscence. Super gynecium, apocarpic of (2-) 12-30 (-40) free carpels,

Lotus fruit

ventral apical.

  • Fruit in globose or elongated nucleus, with apical pore, the pericarp welded to the head, both hardened, immersed in the accentuated and sclerified receptacle.
  • Seeds welded to the pericarp, with little or practically nonexistent endosperm, without perisperm, embryo with 2 thick, fleshy cotyledons, the green plumule wrapped in a pod, the radicle not functional.
  • Globose to spheroidal, tricollated, tecto-columelated pollen, rough surface with prominent or reticulated tectral perforations.
  • Chromosome number: 2n = 16 in both species.


Lotus leaf.

  • Nelumbo nucifera alba striata, produces large, aromatic, chalice-shaped flowers. They are 15 cm wide and have a carmine rim. It blooms in summer.
  • Nelumbo nucifera alba grandifiora, produces pure white flowers.
  • Nelumbo nucifera full pink, produces double flowers, soft pink, and up to 30 cm in diameter.


  • Light: in full sun .
  • It should have a depth of water of at least 60 cm.
  • They are planted in spring, horizontally in the mud.
  • In cold climates it should be removed from the water to prevent freezing, protecting the bottom with leaves and a plastic sheet. If this is not possible, good drainage must be ensured.
  • In late autumn, it will be convenient to drain the pond and cover the plant with fertilized peat until the following spring.
  • Fertilizer: the land you need should be made up of leaves and organic fertilizer mixed with peat.
  • Tip: remove dead leaves to avoid water pollution.
  • Multiplication: by dividing the rhizomes in autumn.
  • Reproduction by seeds:
  • To grow Nelumbo nucifera from seed, you need to scarify it (scrape it with sandpaper to penetrate the bark) and then immerse it in water. The seeds will inflate in the following days and will germinate within the week; They will grow rapidly over the next 2 weeks. There are enough nutrients in the seeds to maintain the plant for 30 days, but it should be planted as soon as possible.
  • Use a large pot that allows the root to grow in all directions (at least 10 cm for each side) and place it 15 cm below the surface of the water. The leaves will appear within a month and the plant will flower in the second season.
  • The fruits of Nelumbo nucifera(aquatic plant of the Nympháceas family ) obtained from herbarium specimens have germinated after being stored for 100-200 years.
  • Seeds of this species found in a swampy area (in anaerobic conditions) of China germinated after being buried for 340 to 430 years. Viable seeds of this same species have been reported to exist after more than 1000 years of burial; however, several of these results have not been fully accepted.


Lotus flower

The lotus flower has been a symbol of a multitude of civilizations throughout the history of humanity. In the Egyptian civilization it had a great meaning, since many gods such as Ra (god of the Sun) emerged from it, since the flower was linked to the appearance and sunset of the Sun, because it is only open during the day. From it also emerged the god Nefertum , considered the god of perfumes, by providing an extremely pleasing perfume to the Egyptians.

The lotus flower in India symbolizes divinity, fertility, wealth, knowledge and illustration, being currently its national symbol. It is associated with the goddess of abundance, Laksmi , who provides prosperity, purity, and generosity. Symbol of purity, beauty and all that’s good. In turn, she was worshiped in Brahmanism as “mother of creation,” and even Brahma , the god of all gods, came from the lotus flower.

In the Buddhist sphere, the flower that rises above the water is one of the oldest symbols, and one of the most frequently represented attributes of its human and heavenly characters. The lotus, which serves as a seat or throne for the Buddha , therefore indicates a divine birth.

In China with the Sung Dynasty ( 10th century – 13th century), the custom arose of bandaging the feet of girls between 4 and 9 years old. The small feet, “the golden lotus feet” (so called because the swinging of walking was similar to that of the lotus rocked by the air), were the greatest symbol of beauty and perfection of a woman. The golden lotus feet were not only an image of beauty but of sensuality, considering that the caress game of the female feet was part of Chinese eroticism. The pain and suffering that women paid for beauty accompanied them throughout their lives. The bandages were not to be removed at the risk of unwanted growth except for hygiene, and the beautiful ones performed the ritual washing in the waters of the sanctuary where the gods would mitigate their pain.


According to Greek mythology, a beautiful goddess fled into the forest scared and ended up in a place called Lotus where she sank, a place named after the supreme gods destined for the losers and losers in life. The young goddess struggled for centuries and managed to emerge in the form of a beautiful flower with long petals. For this reason, for the Greeks it meant triumph after having fought tirelessly against failure.

The lotus flower in Buddhism

Lotus flower

Buddhists, who deeply respect this flower, compare its four virtues: fragrance, cleanliness, tenderness and softness; with the four virtues of the dharma realm (the teachings of the Buddha , the Enlightened One): abiding, rejoicing, self, and purity.

It is also compared to the heart, and symbolizes that everything created carries in its innermost being, something comparable to the lotus flower, developing.

In the iconography of Mahayana Buddhism (which ranges from 150 N. to today) there is an abundance of images or sculptures of Gautama Buddha sitting on, or crowned by, a lotus or holding it between his fingers. It is noteworthy that his eyelids are also drawn like lotus petals, symbolizing purity of vision.

In Jinaian Buddhism (period from the 4th century BC to the 2nd century AD), it did not admit the human representation of the Buddha, since attention was directed towards an archetypal Buddha and not one of his appearances in the material world. to him through a void, or through the Dharma-chakra, the conch shell (representative of the voice of the Buddha), the Boddhi (tree of enlightenment) and fundamentally through the lion Fo, who is considered a guardian and protector of the place in where this sculpture is located; it is common to place them at the entrance of buildings.

One of the most important texts of Mahayana Buddhism uses it as a book title: it is the Lotus Sutra , of which it is not known exactly when it was written, although as early as 255 n. and. The first Chinese translation was made from the Sanskrit language . The Sanskrit title is known as Saddharma-pundarika-sutra , which can be translated as the White Lotus Book of Genuine Teaching or the White Lotus Book of Eternal Religion . Within the set of texts of the Buddhist canon it is considered among the most important, and compiles the teachings of Gautama Buddha .

In Buddhist iconography, the lotus is widely used as a symbol of purity and as a source of contemplation. Both by the lotus posture and the representation of many of the divine attributes with human features emerging from the lotus. Entering a more detailed description of the moment would escape the purpose of this article, suffice it to add that in Tibetan Buddhism the primordial Buddha, Kungtuzangpo (also known as Samantabhadra), and his consort Kungtuzangmo (Samantabhadri), are represented in sexual union in position lotus, in a lotus bed, surrounded by a golden circle.


The lotus – Nelumbo nucifera – was described by Joseph Gaertner and published in De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum …. 1: 73. 1788.

The type species is: Dicrocaulon pearsonii NE Br.


The specific term refers to its fruits (Latin: nucifer, -a, -um, bearing nuts).


  • Nymphaea nelumbo, 1753.
  • Nelumbium indicum, 1797.
  • Nelumbium javanicum, 1797.
  • Nelumbium speciosum, 1799.
  • Nelumbium asiaticum, 1811.
  • Nelumbium speciosumcaspicum Fisch. ex DC., 1821.
  • Nelumbium album& J.Presl, 1823.
  • Nelumbium tamaraSweet, 1826.
  • Nelumbium rheedii Presl , 1835.
  • Nelumbium tranversum Presl , 1835.
  • Nelumbium venosum, C. Presl, 1835.
  • Nelumbium turbinatumwhite, 1837.
  • Nelumbium discolor, Steud., 1841.
  • Nelumbium marginatum, Steud., 1841.
  • Tamara alba Roxb. , ex Steud., 1841.
  • Tamara rubra Roxb. , ex Steud., 1841.
  • speciosa var. alba, FMBailey, 1885, nom. nud.
  • komarovii Grossh, 1940.
  • nucifera var. Nakai microchizomata.


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