Known in the East as the Sacred Lotus, this flower is considered one of the most impressive aquatic plants available today. It’s a true aquatic perennial plant that belongs to the genus Nelumbo and consists of only two species: the yellow-flowered American lotus (Nelumbo lutea) found in the Americas, and the pink Asiatic lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) found in Asia, Australia, and Eastern Europe.
These two species have been grown and bred for centuries, resulting in hundreds of hybrids that range in many size and color options. There are numerous lotus cultivars readily available today, and we’ve picked a few of our favorites to share with you.
‘Momo Botan’ is an alleged dwarf variety that finds itself to be the most popular lotus for several reasons. It has brand name recognition, it’s an amazing bloomer, is easily obtainable, easy to grow, and produces beautiful, showy flowers. You’re sure to enjoy having it in your own pond.
‘Rosa Plena’ is a good cultivar with deep rose-pink flowers that can grow to 10-13 inches across. The plant may get as tall as six feet and makes a stunning statement in any pond.
‘Charles Thomas’ is a notable lotus that appears pink the first day of bloom, changing to lavender-pink by the second day. Growing two to three feet tall, this flower is ideal for small to medium ponds.
‘Maggie Bell Slocum’ features a huge lavender-pink flower, growing up to 12 inches across. The flower has a unique anise scent.
‘Chawan Basu’ is a dwarf variety that’s an excellent choice for container water gardening. Its delicate petals are ivory-white with deep pink margins and veins.
‘Mrs. Perry D. Slocum’ is a highly popular, semi-double-flowered, changeable variety. A full-size lotus which starts out pink flushed with yellow, changes to a pink-yellow, and finishes its color changes with cream flushed with pink. It’s an excellent bloomer and a great choice for your water garden.
‘Empress,’ also known as ‘Alba Striata,’ is a stunning, full-size plant with white petals streaked with deep pink. Although it’s not the best available bloomer, it’s worth growing for its unusual and striking flowers.
You’ll find many more varieties of lotus available to you, but be forewarned, they can become intoxicatingly addictive!