The Lotus – Not every lotus is a lotus.
The genus Nelumbo is composed of two species of water lily like flowering
plants. Nelumbo is currently recognized as its own family, Nelumbonaceae. Its
closest living relatives are certain shrubs or trees:
Nelumbo nucifera the sacred or Indian Lotus revered in Hinduism and
Buddhism. It is a national flower in India and Vietnam. One uses it widely in
Asian Cooking. Nelumbo nucifera is native to northern Australia, the Philippines,
the Orient, Egypt, and the Volga River delta.
Nelumbo lutea is the American Lotus found in the Eastern United Stated, Mexico
Greater Antilles and Honduras. People frequently, call water lilies and
nelumbo lotus plants. In reality, Nelumbo, although they grow in water, do not
belong to water lilies and are the real lotus plants.
If you wish to see the lovely Nelumbo lutea a short trip to the Innisfree Garden
is the place to visit. Located at 362 Tyrrell Road, Millbrook, NY 12545 (845)-677-
8000 or www.innisfreegarden.org . The garden incorporates Eastern design
techniques. It also grows the Nelumbo nucifera. If you have a chance to visit, it
let us know how you have enjoyed it.
If you wish to remain at home but still want to partake of the Lotus we
recommend the book “The Lotus Quest. In search of the sacred flower” by Mark
Griffiths. St. Martin’s Press. New York. 2009. We wish you a great summer.