NELUMBO is a genus of aquatic plants with large, showy flowers .
Members are commonly called LOTUS, though "lotus " is a name also
applied to various other plants and plant groups, including the
unrelated genus Lotus . Members outwardly resemble those in the family
Nymphaeaceae ("water lilies"), but
Nelumbo is actually very distant to
Nymphaeaceae. "Nelumbo" is derived from the Sinhalese word Sinhalese :
නෙළුම් neḷum, the name for the lotus
Nelumbo nucifera .
There are only two known living species of lotus;
Nelumbo nucifera is
Asia and is better-known. It is commonly cultivated; it is
eaten and used in traditional Chinese medicine . This species is the
floral emblem of both
The other lotus is
Nelumbo lutea and is native to
North America and
Caribbean . Horticultural hybrids have been produced between these
two allopatric species .
There are several fossil species known from
Cretaceous , Paleogene
Neogene aged strata throughout
North America .
* 1 Species
* 1.1 Extant species
* 1.2 Fossil species
* 2 Classification
* 2.1 APG
* 2.2 Earlier classification systems
* 3 Characteristics
* 3.1 Superhydrophobicity
* 4 Cultural significance
* 5 References
* 6 External links
N. lutea (American lotus)
Nelumbo 'Mrs. Perry D. Slocum'-
Dried seed pod Lotus in lake, showing leaves, buds, flowers,
Nelumbo lutea Willd. – American lotus (
Eastern United States
Eastern United States ,
Greater Antilles ,
Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. – sacred or Indian lotus, also known
as the Rose of
India and the sacred water lily of
Buddhism . It is the national flower of
Vietnam . Its roots
and seeds are also used widely in Asian cooking.
Nelumbo nucifera bud
Nelumbo aureavallis Hickey –
North Dakota ),
described from leaves found in the Golden Valley Formation in North
Nelumbo changchangensis Eocene, (
Hainan Island , China),
described from several fossils of leaves, seedpods, and rhizomes from
the Eocene-aged strata in the Changchang Basin, of Hainan Island.
Netherlands ), described from leaves
and seedpods that suggest a very small plant. Originally described as
a member of the genus Nelumbites , as "Nelumbites minimus."
Miocene , fossil leaves are known
from Eocene-aged strata in
Japan , and Miocene-aged strata in
Cretaceous (Japan), one of the oldest known
species, fossils are found in Cretaceous-aged strata of Japan.
Mississippi ), fossils of leaves
strongly suggest a plant similar in form to the American lotus.
There is residual disagreement over which family the genus should be
placed in. Traditional classification systems recognized
part of the Nymphaeaceae, but traditional taxonomists were likely
misled by convergent evolution associated with an evolutionary shift
from a terrestrial to an aquatic lifestyle. In the older
classification systems it was recognized under the biological order
Nymphaeales or Nelumbonales.
Nelumbo is currently recognized as a only
living genus in
Nelumbonaceae , one of several distinctive families in
the eudicot order of the
Proteales . Its closest living relatives, the
Platanaceae ), are shrubs or trees.
The leaves of
Nelumbo can be distinguished from those of genera in
Nymphaeaceae as they are peltate , that is they have fully
Nymphaea , on the other hand, has a single
characteristic notch from the edge in to the center of the lily pad.
The seedpod of
Nelumbo is very distinctive.
Nelumbo nucifera: an example of the lotus effect
APG IV system of 2016, recognizes
Nelumbonaceae as a distinct
family and places it in the order
Proteales in the eudicot clade , as
do the earlier APG III and APG II systems .
EARLIER CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS
Cronquist system of 1981 recognizes the family but places it in
the water lily order
Nymphaeales . The
Dahlgren system of 1985 and
Thorne system of 1992 both recognize the family and place it in its
own order, Nelumbonales.
The leaves of nelumbo are highly water-repellent (i.e. they exhibit
ultrahydrophobicity ) and have given the name to what is called the
lotus effect .
Nelumbo nucifera regulates its temperature in order to benefit insect
pollinators . When the plant flowers, it heats its blossoms to above
30 °C (86 °F) for as long as four days even when the air is as cool
as 10 °C (50 °F). The heat releases an aroma that attracts certain
insects, which fly into the flower to feed on nectar and pollen .
According to Roger Seymour and Paul Schultze-Motel of Australia’s
University of Adelaide, the heat also rewards insects with a stable
environment that enhances their ability to eat, mate, and prepare for
The sacred lotus, N. nucifera, is sacred in both
* ^ Hyam, R. & Pankhurst, R.J. (1995). Plants and their names : a
concise dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN
* ^ A B "
Nelumbo nucifera (sacred lotus)". Kew. Retrieved 26 July
* ^ Hickey, Leo (1977). Stratigraphy and Paleobotany of the Golden
Valley Formation (Early Tertiary) of Western North Dakota. Boulder,
Colorado: Geological Society of America. pp. 110 & Plate 5. ISBN
* ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2016). "An update of the Angiosperm
Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of
flowering plants: APG IV" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean
Society. 181 (1): 1–20. doi :10.1111/boj.12385 . ISSN 0024-4074 .
CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link )
* ^ Darmanin, Thierry; Guittard, Frédéric (1 June 2015).
"Superhydrophobic and superoleophobic properties in nature". Materials
Today. 18 (5): 273–285. doi :10.1016/j.mattod.2015.01.001 .
* ^ "Heat of Lotus Attracts Insects And Scientists". New York
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