|Lotus, Teratai, Sacred Lotus, East Indian Lotus, 莲, 荷花
Often found growing out of the mud in freshwater ponds, the Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is a culturally significant plant in Asia. Most parts of the Lotus are edible, including the flowers, leaves and seeds. The seeds can be made into lotus seed paste, an ingredient in mooncakes; a Chinese pastry eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Classifications and Characteristics
|Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
|Plant Growth Form
|Aquatic & Hydrophyte
|Lifespan (in Singapore)
|Mode of Nutrition
|Asia and northeast Australia.
|Aquatic (Freshwater Pond / Lake / River)
|Preferred Climate Zone
|Local Conservation Status
|Non-native (Spontaneous (Casual))
Description and Ethnobotany
|The scared lotus with rhizomes are grow in the mud at the bottom of shallow ponds.
|The large, peltate (with the leaf stalk attaching to the centre) leaves(60cm across) rise above the water surface on 1-2m long petioles.
|Large(35cm across) flowers are usually found on thick stems rising several centimeter above the leaves.
|Develops above water. A conical struture with seeds, each in its own socket.
|Nelumbo nucifera found in warm temperate to tropical climates, in a range of shallow wetland habitats, including floodplains, ponds, lakes, pools, lagoons, marshes, swamps and the backwaters of reservoirs.
|Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits, Edible Leaves, Edible Flowers, Edible Stems, Edible Seeds, Edible Roots, Edible Storage Organs
Food (Fruit & Vegetable): The young leaves, leaf stalks and flowers are eaten as vegetables. The "roots" (rhizomes) are used as a vegetable in soups, stir-fried. Young lotus stems are used as a salad ingredient. The lotus seeds (called lian zi in Chinese) can be eaten raw or dried and popped like popcorn. They can be boiled with dried longans to make a dessert., or made into a paste. Lotus seed paste is the most common ingredients used in pastries such as mooncake and rice flour pudding. The large leaves are used to wrap food such as in lotus rice. (Herb and Spice): The stamens are dried and made in to herbal tea called lianhua cha in Chinese.
Medicinal: The entire plant is used medicinally the Chinese. The plant itself is prescribed as an antidote for mushroom poisoning. The rhizomes or leaves are used with other herbs to treat sunstroke, fever, diarrhoea, dysentery, dizziness, vomiting of blood, hemorrhoids. The embryonic seeds for high fever, cholera, nervous disorders and insomnia; the seeds to stop vomiting, relieve indigestion and diarrhoea or just as a tonic. The flower stalks are used for excessive bleeding from uterus. Seeds are used as tonic.
|Desirable Plant Features
|Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant
|Pond / Lake / River
Plant Care and Propagation
|Lots of Water
|Plant Growth Rate
|Soil pH Range From
|Soil pH Range To
|Mature Foliage Colour(s)
|Green, Green - Bluish Green
|Mature Foliage Texture(s)
|Simple / Unifoliate
|Non-Palm Foliage (Orbicular / Round)
|Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio
|4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
Non - Foliar and Storage
|Specialised Storage Organ(s)
Fruit, Seed and Spore
|Mature Fruit Colour(s)
|Seed Quantity Per Fruit
|The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.