sacred-lotus

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As a small side project this Summer, I’m growing a dwarf variety of lotus (Nelumbo nucifera). Six is a pretty poor sample size, but I’m trying to scale things down to conserve shelf space. It’s hard work sanding the seed coats down if you don’t have a belt grinder on hand, but I managed with a metal file. It took about a week for these three seedlings to emerge, and I’m waiting on another to catch up. Two weren’t viable and started rotting once their seed coats started to swell up. I’ve found that frequent water changes are necessary until the first leaves emerge.

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Hey, so I just found out something really cute? Phar and Sym’s countries both have lotuses as their national flowers! India’s national flower is the Nelumbo nucifera (aka sacred lotus) while Egypt’s national flower is the Nymphaea lotus (aka white lotus…technically it’s a water lily but folks call it a lotus too).

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Plant of the Day
Wednesday 10 August 2016

The beautiful flower and remarkable foliage of Nelumbo nucifera (sacred lotus) seen growing outside in containers at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. This plant is a rhizomatous aquatic perennial with long-stalked, rounded leaves and pink or white flowers held on long stalks above the water surface. These are a challenge to grow in Britain and need to be overwintered in a glasshouse. The leaves are considered to be super hydrophobic with their water-repellent surface and scientists are using the plant’s design to develop inexpensive ways to create synthetic coatings with anti-wetting properties. These can be used on everything from ship hulls to water-proof fabrics.

Jill Raggett