The lotus flowers are one of the most popular plants in the world. Read on to see just how much you know about these beloved flowers.
Lotus flowers are floating aquatic plants from the Nelumbo family and are native to southern Asia and Australia. The pink lotus is the national flower for both India and Vietnam while Korea, China and Japan celebrate the flower’s beauty by holding the Lotus Festival.
While it cannot survive colder climates, the lotus can live for thousands of years. One type of lotus seed managed to revive after 1,300 years of dormancy. It has special meanings in the Egyptian mythology and Buddhism and it’s also a very popular tattoo.
Table of Contents
- American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea)
- Angel Wings (Nelumbo nucifera)
- Asiatic (Nelumbo – Alba grandiflora)
- Blue Star Lotus (Nymphaea nouchali)
- Carolina Queen Lotus
- Celestial Lotus
- Chawan (Nelumbo)
- Cherry Lotus
- Chinese Double Rose (Nelumbo)
- Curious Lotus
- Green Maiden Lotus
- Japanese Lotus
- Little Green House Lotus
- Lotus of Golden Wheel
- Lotus of Lace Gem
- Lotus of the Absolute Reality
- Lotus of the Clear Moon
- Lotus of the Princess
- Lotus of the Wisteria Court
- Momo Botan (Nelumbo)
- Mrs. Perry D. Slocum (Nelumbo)
- Nail Red Bowl Lotus
- Parrot’s Beak (Lotus berthelotii)
- Perry’s Giant Sunburst (Nelumbo)
- Red Lotus of Tatsuta
- Red Lotus of The Shine
- Red Lotus of Yohzan
- Red Lotus at Yushan
- Rosea Plena (Nelumbo – Roseum Plenum)
- Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
- Sacred Pink (Nelumbo – Nucifera speciosum)
- Sunflower Lotus
- White Lotus
- White Lotus of Bowl
- Yellow Lotus of The Shine
American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea)
The American lotus can be confused with a water lily but unlike the water lily, the American lotus has uncut leaves that are circular and blue-green in color. It can also get up to over three feet in height and has delicate flowers that come in either yellow or white with more than 20 petals each. It is usually marketed commercially as Water Chinquapin or Yellow Lotus.
Angel Wings (Nelumbo nucifera)
This lotus has unusually large leaves that can get up to two feet in diameter and they are large, round, and waxy green in color. The petals are pointed towards the center and curl slightly on the ends. They are white and very fragrant and they can be up to 10 inches in diameter. They bloom best from July to September and can get as high as six feet. The flowers also do very well in shallow water and shallow gardens because they do not need a lot of water to thrive.
Asiatic (Nelumbo – Alba grandiflora)
Growing up to four feet in height, this lotus is pure white and beautiful. It is a very large flower with a wonderful fragrance and large, pea-green foliage. Best of all, this type of lotus is produced almost all year around in large masses.
Blue Star Lotus (Nymphaea nouchali)
Native to the southern and eastern parts of Asia, this lotus has violet-blue petals and reddish edges. Other colors can include purple, white, fuchsia, or mauve, which has led to its nickname of the Red and Blue Water Lily. It contains roughly 15 angular petals and leaves that are round and green with a darker green underside.
Carolina Queen Lotus
With a look very similar to tulips, this lotus grows up to six feet high and has petals that are rose-pink in color. They are great to medium- or large-sized ponds and they do best in full sun.
An intermediate-sized, single-petal variety with 80 petals per bloom and a beautiful red color, this flower blooms from mid July to late August and has soft leaves. The petals are approximately eight inches in diameter and it is also called the Red Celestial Lotus.
These grow up to 30 inches high and are perfect for medium containers and ponds. The petals are ivory-white with margins and veins that are deep pink in color. The name actually refers to a rice bowl, which the flower resembles.
With petals that are purplish-red and fade to pink later on, this flower gets roughly 18 petals per bloom and is approximately eight inches in diameter. It blooms from late July to late August and has wide petals and coarse leaves. It is a very beautiful type of lotus.
Chinese Double Rose (Nelumbo)
With double blooms, this type of lotus has two-toned petals of creamy white and deep pink and it grows up to two feet in height. It is a free-flowering lotus and slightly resembles a peony.
A prolific bloomer, it can hold from 300 to 6,000 petals and has striations that are barely visible. The Curious Lotus is a two-headed bloom with the bottom one consisting of reddish-pink petals and a top bloom that is dark red and has petals that are much shorter than they are at the bottom. Blooming from early to late August, this flower has leaves that are soft to the touch and is reproduced through lotus roots, not seeds.
Green Maiden Lotus
A small lotus that gets no more than three feet high, it is considered a dwarf variety and has petals that are soft pink but change to yellow by the third day. It does best in full sun and for those who live in zones 4-11. It is perfect for small to medium ponds and even containers.
Examples of hybrid lotuses include Nelumbo Alba Grandiflora, Nelumbo Baby Doll, Nelumbo Chawan Basu, Nelumbo Momo Botan, Nelumbo Red Scarf, Nelumbo Sweetheart, and the Nelumbo cultivar “Shirokunshi” Tulip Lotus.
Each bloom has about 20 petals that are a lovely shade of pink and leaves that are smooth and roughly two feet high. It can grow in fairly cold climates and dates back hundreds of years. It only blooms from early to late August and it has subtle striations.
Little Green House Lotus
A true bowl lotus, it is considered a dwarf plant and only gets up to two feet in height. It has double blooms of white with pink tips and its leaves can get up to 10 inches high. It is great for small ponds and containers.
Lotus of Golden Wheel
This lotus has beautiful white petals, a red border, and nail-red tips along with a bright-yellow center. It blooms from early July to early September and it has leaves that are coarse to the touch. It also consists of 20 petals per bloom and it has great flower production and striations that are very subtle.
Lotus of Lace Gem
A double-flowering lotus that resembles a peony, this lotus is deep red in color with distinct striations and has petals that are almost eight inches in diameter. It blooms from mid July to early September and has about 120 petals per bloom. It also has large, beautiful foliage that complements the color of the petals perfectly.
Lotus of the Absolute Reality
With up to 24 single petals in a bloom, this lotus has wide petals and is a vibrant green color. It blooms from late July to late August and its leaves are very soft. The flower is dense and full and it is roughly 10 inches in diameter. It usually produces two to three blooms per summer and it has been around since ancient times.
Lotus of the Clear Moon
With up to 26 petals per bloom, this flower is greenish-white in color and has leaves that grow up to 16 inches in height with the flower itself being seven inches in diameter. It blooms from late July to late September and it has a pistachio-green bud in the center. The leaves are soft to the touch and the flower will grow even if you plant it in a small flowerpot.
Lotus of the Princess
This type of lotus has about 18 petals per bloom and leaves that are slightly coarse. It is deep red in color, has distinct striations, and it blooms from late July to early September. It has great flower production and the color will certainly catch your attention.
Lotus of the Wisteria Court
With 20 to 25 petals per bloom, this lotus is one of the largest of the Japanese lotus flowers. The petals are 10 inches in diameter and its leaves are coarse to the touch. It blooms from late July to mid August and has distinct striations and very large petals.
Momo Botan (Nelumbo)
Growing up to two feet in height, the Momo Botan is one of the best lotus flowers when it comes to blooming. The double petals are a rose-pink color and it has a long blooming season. In addition, this type of lotus has petals that stay open all day long and it looks beautiful in small to medium ponds and in containers.
Mrs. Perry D. Slocum (Nelumbo)
Growing up to four feet in height, this beautiful lotus has large double petals that open up a dark pink, then change to pink, yellow, and, finally, creamy yellow by the third day. The flower is so beautiful and eye-catching that a lot of people assume it’s an artificial flower when they first see it.
Nail Red Bowl Lotus
With creamy white leaves and reddish-pink tips, it is about the size of a small rice bowl and blooms heavily each August. The leaves are slightly coarse to the touch and it produces massive amounts of flowers when it blooms.
Parrot’s Beak (Lotus berthelotii)
The winner of several international flower awards, this flower has narrow leaves that are silver-grey in color and bright crimson flowers. They grow up to one foot in height and three feet in width and butterflies and hummingbirds love them. They look beautiful in Mediterranean and rock gardens and are also deer-resistant.
Perry’s Giant Sunburst (Nelumbo)
This type of lotus has large, cup-shaped, double-flower petals that appear on very sturdy stems right above the foliage once summer comes. Each of the flowers blooms for three days but closes up at night. After the flowers, a nut-like fruit appears in a receptacle that resembles a watering can. The flowers are also very fragrant and smell wonderful.
Red Lotus of Tatsuta
With about 18 petals per flower, they are deep red in color and have very distinct striations. It has a receptacle that is earth-toned in color and the inner petals have tips that are peaked. This type of lotus can also add a spicy taste to various foods.
Red Lotus of The Shine
With good flower production, this flower was specifically developed as a lotus flower. Its petals are light pinkish-red with darker red tips and a yellow center. Its leaves are roughly 16 inches high and its petals are eye-catching and elegant.
Red Lotus of Yohzan
With a very strong and tall step, this lotus is red in color with distinct striations and is an elegant, eye-catching look. It has about 25 petals per bloom and the red is a very dark, crimson-like red.
Red Lotus at Yushan
A semi-double flower with roughly 30 petals per bloom, this type of lotus blooms from mid July to late August. It has a deep pink color that fades quickly and leaves that are roughly two feet high with a slightly coarse feel when you touch them.
Rosea Plena (Nelumbo – Roseum Plenum)
An aquatic, flowering plant, the Rosea Plena lotus has leaves that are two feet wide and the plant itself gets up to two feet high. It is very fragrant and its single petals are usually pink in color but they can also be a rose-pink or white in color for the double-petal varieties. The flower blooms for three days, closing each night, then grows a woody and ornamental-looking fruit. Its tubers and seeds are used in Chinese cooking and there is a dwarf plant being developed for containers and small ponds.
Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
Because it can grow from even muddy ponds and rise to above the surface of the water, this type of lotus is sacred in East India. The leaves are easy to keep clean because it is difficult to wet them and the petals themselves are either pink or white and can get up to 13 inches in diameter. Also known as the Bean of India or the Indian Lotus, all parts of the plant are used in some way throughout Asia, including the roots, leaves, seeds, and stamen for food or snacks.
Sacred Pink (Nelumbo – Nucifera speciosum)
This is a beautiful pink-and-white lotus that grows up to four feet high and is considered very important in many Eastern religions. It is thought to have mystical effects and is perfect for zones 4-11.
The Sunflower lotus is free-flowering, has deep pink blossoms, and is perfect for small to medium water gardens and for containers. Best when planted in zones 4-11, the flower needs full sun and grows to five feet in height. It is a very showy lotus that is sure to be noticed.
Elegant-looking and known as the Tiger Lotus or the White Water Lily, it has large, beautiful white petals that sit atop a lily pad. It is part of the Nymphaeaceae family and is very popular in aquariums and in ponds.
White Lotus of Bowl
With large, single petals that are white in color, this flower has leaves that are eight inches in size and they grow profusely where they’re planted. They also have large, long thorns on the stem and the outer edges of the petals are somewhat peaked.
Yellow Lotus of The Shine
This lotus is a crossbreed developed in 1968 and has white petals with pink-red tips and a bright yellow center. Even when placed in a flowerpot, you can count on seeing two or three flowers every season. The petal is six inches in width and the leaves are about one foot in height, making it quite striking.