Lotus - plant profile
The plantLotus is a water plant growing in the mud of shallow ponds, lagoons, marshes and flooded fields. It is native to parts of the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Guinea. It can grow to a height of up to 6 m depending on the depth of water. It is found throughout India.
|Image: The lotus is grown in Kew Gardens.|
Rhizomes - firmly anchored in the mud beneath the water surface, the lotus plant has long stems to which the leaves and flowers are attached. The crisp rhizomes are eaten in a variety of savoury dishes in India. The rhizomes are pocketed with air tunnels so that, when sliced, each disc looks like a piece of Swiss cheese or a snowflake.
Leaves - disc-shaped and up to 90 cm wide. They either float on or protrude above the surface of the water. They have long leaf stalks that are scattered with small bumps. Both leaves and leaf stalks are eaten as vegetables in India. sacred in Buddhist and Hindu religions and are frequently represented in South Asian art and literature. They are sometimes eaten as a vegetable in India.
Seeds - hard and dark brown. They can vary in shape from round or oval to oblong. They are sometimes eaten in India. Lotus seeds are also the oldest viable seeds ever recorded.