Flor de Lotus
Lotus is a flower whose history goes back to ancient times. The flower itself is a large water lily, the petals and leaves of which are covered with a waxy coating, so that they do not get wet and always remain above the water. Lotus has a very powerful rhizomes. Leaves are underwater, floating or standing. Lotus flowers in diameter can reach up to 30 cm, they can be pink, cream or yellow. When a lotus blooms its flower is always facing the sun. For this reason, and also because the lotus is used in cooking and folk medicine, this flower is considered a sacred plant in some cultures.
The lotus flower blooms at dawn, and in the evening the flower closes. Early in the morning, the flower can be bright pink, and in the afternoon you can distinguish shades on the flower from white to pink. It is best to pluck lotus flowers at dawn in order to use them in medicine or cooking.
Lotus flower is listed in the Red Book. Therefore, such flowers can be plucked only in specially designated places for growing the lotus for medicinal and food needs. In order to grow lotus it is necessary to create a pond with a size of at least 3 by 3 meters and a depth of at least 70 cm. In summer, the bottom of the reservoir must be cleaned from duckweed and branches, so that the bottom and the water remain clean. The ideal option is to lay the bottom of the reservoir with pebbles so that silt does not gather at the bottom. Sludge can reduce the depth of the pond, which can even lead to the death of a lotus flower. The best option for the lotus will be if the pond is shaded by a tree.
You can plant a lotus manually if planting occurs using rhizomes. If seeds or germinated seeds are planted, then they can simply be thrown into the water. On the edges of the pond it is best to plant reeds so that the lotus is more comfortable in winter.
The lotus fruit is inside the flower, and has the shape of a cone with seeds in the form of dark nuts with a very dense skin and a hole so that the embryo can breathe. Lotus seeds are distinguished by their vitality. They can lie for several hundred years and give life as soon as they get into the right environment. There is a known case when lotus seeds lay for 1200 years and gave birth to a new flower as soon as they were placed in a pond with the necessary conditions.
There are two varieties of lotus:
Nelumbo Nucifera or The Sacred (Indian) – characterized by a large pink flower with a pleasant aroma. Flowering period – July – August. Distributed in India, China, Japan, the Far East (Russia), Australia and other regions.
Nelumbo Lutea or Yellow Lotus (American) – is common in South and North America, which is why it got this name. The color of its flowers can be from cream to snow-white.
Today, lotus seeds are used to make butter, flour, starch and sugar. Lotus seeds and rhizomes are very rich in vitamin C, sugar, fats and starch. It is also used in cooking and traditional medicine. At the same time, it can be used as a potato dish in cooking, as the lotus is rich in starch.