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Lotus

This page is about plants called lotus. You may want Lotus Cars, the British car manufacturer, or Lotus Development, the Cambridge, MA, software company now owned by IBM.


There are several plants with the name lotus.

The aquatic plant:

The best known lotus is a plant of the genus Nymphaea (the Egyptian lotus, family Nymphaeaceae) or Nelumbo (the Indian lotus). Both plants have round leaves that float on the surface of water; Nymphaea leaves have a radial notch, which Nelumbo leaves do not. Nelumbo fruit is often used in flower arrangements; it has about twenty pits in its face, each of which contains a seed. Members of Nymphaeaceae are called waterlilies. Both plants have been used as religious symbols.

White Egyptian Lotus

Nelumbo Nucifera, Indian Lotus

The lotus tree

The word "lotus" is also applied to unrelated and unresembling plants. The Lotus-eaters of the Odyssey are thought to have eaten a species of jujube or Zizyphus; this would be the lotus tree that the mythological Lotis had been transformed into. The genus Lotus belongs to the Fabaceae.



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