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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Nelumbonaceae (lotus family)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Order: Proteales

Family of water plants with rhizomes, found along the margins of pools in Asia, northern Australia and eastern North America. There is one genus, Nelumbo, with two species. Nelumbo lutea (American Lotus, Water Chinquapin, Yanquapin) is native to North America. Nelumbo nucifera (Sacred Lotus) is native to Asia (Iran to Japan) and northern Australia, and is cultivated in southern Africa.

 Species cultivated in southern Africa

Nelumbo nucifera (Sacred Lotus, Padma)

Native to Asia (Iran to Japan) and northern Australia. Regarded as sacred in India, Tibet and China. Introduced to Egypt in c 500 BC but no longer occurs on the Nile. 

The common name 'lotus' should not be confused with the latin name Lotus which is a genus in the pea family Fabaceae.