East Indian Lotus

8 07 2012

From the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens visitors center:
Clustered in a pool near the visitor center is the pink-tinged East Indian lotus, descended from ancient plants whose seeds were recovered in 1951 from a dry Manchurian lakebed. Induced into germination by the National Park Service, the seeds are believed to be one of the oldest viable seeds ever found. A recent estimate places their age at 640 to 960 years. Unlike water lilies, the lotus (genus Nelumbo) has waxy leaves that rise above the water and shed rain. Its showy flowers drop petals to reveal seedpods that look like shower heads. Its seeds ripen above water.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.




One response

12 07 2012

It’s mid November and the lotus are going dormant, don’t be alarmed by this, all leaves will fade and darken. You can clip them off above the water line if you choose or just leave them. I grow duckweed in the planters over the winter. After all the leaves fade it’s time to divide the tubers if you choose to. Mine are only 2 years old but I want to thin them out, so I’m going to remove tubers and replant. In any case they will start putting up new growth in late January. Just keep the water up and next year they will even be better. They grow incredibly fast starting about the end of February and can be in bloom in early April and continue to bloom through the season, actually until about mid October.

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