All you need to know about Chinese flower lotus; their history, importance, 5 important facts and how to grow them at home!
Nelumbo Nucifera, mostly recognized as the Lotus Flower or the Chinese flower lotus, holds a prestigious value in Chinese culture from ancient times. It is predominant in most cultures and religions. They look as mesmerizing as water lilies do at the top of the lake’s surfaces but don’t get confused between water lilies and Chinese flower lotus.
In this article, we’ve gathered all the distinct features and facts about the Chinese flower lotus so proceed forward and get to know more about these absolutely stunning lotus flowers!
History of Chinese flower lotus
Belonging to the Nymphaeaceae family, the Chinese flower lotus is a perennial aquatic plant. Lotus flowers are believed to have been in existence for thousands of years. The Chinese flower lotus history traces back some 1300 years when its earliest recorded germination from seeds were recovered from a dry lake in northeastern China. Hence this plant is regarded as a mark of longevity.
Back in 1951, near the Manchurian Lake bed in China, three lotus seeds were found but in 1954, the catastrophic flooding of the Yangtze River in China destroyed all the Chinese flower lotus grown in that region. However, just after three years, the water levels receded and the flowers started blooming again.
How do Chinese flower lotus grow
Their germination requires rich loamy soil and still water which is found at the bottom of ponds or in rich fields so a part of the rhizome is planted there for the seed to sprout. The harvesting of flowers can be done after three to four months of planting.
The roots of the plant germinate in deep mud, completely entrenching itself to the muck at the bottom of lakes or ponds. The leaf stalks are thick around 200 cm which let the plant grow deeply in the water.
The long thick stems emerge from the bottom to the top surface of the water and soon enough, the flowers blossom right above the leaves of the Chinese flower lotus. Their growing season varies from April to September and they usually grow in temperatures below 13° C.
Importance of these Buddhist Flowers in Buddhism:
These Chinese flower lotuses can also be referred to as Buddhist flowers because of the extreme significance that they hold in Buddhism Culture. The lotus flower is designated as the symbol of purity and cleansing of the mind, body, and speech. Their auspicious belief in the sacredness of these Buddhist flowers is to an extent where they give these flowers as offerings to show sincerity towards their monks. Their emergence from the waters is depicted as rising from challenges towards the light of wisdom.
According to legendary stories, Gautama Buddha or Lord Buddha, when he took his first steps, lotus flowers were grown wherever he went. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, whom Chinese refer to as Kuan Yin, is said to be sitting on a red lotus while a shower of red lotus flowers surrounds her.
Red Lotus Flower :
Among the very common colored Chinese flower lotus are white and pink with a meaning of purity and devotion but the rare kinds are the red lotus flower, the blue and purple lotus flower with a collective meaning of light, ascension, and rejuvenation. These delicate red lotus flowers also signify love, empathy, and compassion.
It is also called the sacred lotus, due to its symbolic significance in native Buddhism and Hinduism. That is major because of its distinct red color which is commonly referred to as divine in their culture.
In ancient times, the cultivation of the red lotus wasn’t done on an extensive scale. After years of hybridization, the pink lotus flowers were gradually pigmented to deep red lotus flower color.
5 Amazing Chinese Flower Lotus Facts:
These impeccably beautiful Chinese flower lotuses are demanded all around the world. Here are some facts that might come as a surprise for you.
Lifespan of Chinese flower lotus:
Each flower individually lasts not more than 2-4 days! Although in a temperate climate like in Northern China, these flowers grow in bunches that can last for more than 15 days, and in Southern China around 3 months. A variety cultivated in Wuhan can last up to 6 months.
Adaptive nature of Chinese flower lotus:
Whether they are cultivated in an extremely hot climate or a cold one, they are resistant to both. Their growth isn’t affected by changes in climate except if the change is really harsh.
Believe it or not, even I was stunned, from the seeds and roots to the stem, leaves, and petals, everything is edible! You can make a delicious salad with its leaves and stem, dry out its seeds and have it as an evening snack, make a herbal tea from its petals or stir fry its roots, use it in soups or gravies or pickle them in vinegar.
Medical benefits of Chinese flower lotus roots:
It has been included in the practice of medicine for years in Chinese culture and many more eastern cultures. It helps in digestion and Chinese use it for stopping diarrhea. It regulates blood circulation and pressure. Strengthens the brain, heart and respiratory system. It is also known for killing cancer cells.
Skincare with Chinese flower lotus:
To all the ladies out there, the lotus flower has something for you. The lotus flower has some proteins and fatty acids present in them which gives you soft and hydrated skin. The extract from the petal helps with skin brightening, textured skin, and anti-aging. If you’re someone who suffers from acne due to oily skin, lotus extract prevents clogging your pores which ultimately means bidding farewell to acne for good!
Where can I get a lotus flower
Lotus flowers are usually easily available in parts of Asia like China, Japan, India, Thailand etc, and even in some parts of Australia as they are grown there.
I am pretty sure by now you’re really eager to know where I can get a lotus flower from but I hate breaking it to you, lotus flower cuts aren’t easily available everywhere. As soon as the lotus flower is cut, it cannot survive or have a long-lasting bloom for hours. However, you can definitely grow it at your home and enjoy them till they blossom.
Easy steps on how to grow lotus flowers at home:
If you’re interested in planting them at your homes, click here to purchase the seeds from Amazon.
Here are some easy and quick steps on how to grow lotus flowers at home:
- Take a warm glass of water and put some fertile lotus seeds in them.
- You need to change and fill fresh water in it everyday.
- Get a pot with loamy soil and put one seed in it as soon as the roots emerge and the roots should be fully covered with sand or gravel.
- Put it in a sunny place until the temperature reaches 60°.
- For growing indoors, change the container and shift it to a larger one without drainage holes. For growing it in your garden, place it on top of two inches of clay in your outdoor water system or pond.
- They might take a year to bloom so be patient and enjoy the whole process!
Here you can watch a detailed video on how to grow lotus flowers at home.
There is no doubt about their appealing appearance and how beautiful they can look in your backyard’s fountains or ponds but except that, Chinese flower lotuses have such unique qualities and benefits and historical importance due to their existence from ancient history.
You’d even find these Chinese flower lotus in your history books’ pictures as the Egyptians’ carvings, symbols, or paintings. Such distinctive objects should be preserved and benefitted from.