Nymphaea lotus

Botanical Name :Nymphaea lotus
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea
Species: N. lotus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Nymphaeales

Synonyms: Nymphaea dentata Schumach,  Nymphaea alba

Common Name :Nymphaea lotus, the Tiger Lotus, White lotus or Egyptian White Water-lily,  ,European White Waterlily, White Lotus, White Water Rose or Nenuphar,

Habitat :Nymphaea lotus grows in various parts of East Africa and Southeast Asia.

Description:
It is a perennial, grows to 45 cm in height, and prefers clear, warm, still and slightly acidic waters. The color of the flower is white and sometimes tinged with pink.

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The water lily Nymphaea lotus ‘Red’ (sometimes known as N. zenkeri ‘Red’) can be found growing in its native habitat of tropical Africa in bodies of stagnant water ranging in size from lakes to small, temporary pools. It has been without question the most popular species of its genus to be kept in home aquaria. Bulbs and juvenile plants are available far and wide, sometimes for sale under the name ‘Red Tiger Lotus’.

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This species of water lily has lily pads which float on the water, and blossoms which rise above the water.

Propagation:Propagation of this type  of spices  can usually only be achieved if the plant is allowed to form a handful of floating leaves and subsequently develop one of its night-blooming flowers. The seeds that develop after the flower has wilted germinate easily. Bulb division, as well, is possible but is rare, and is only successful if the severed portion contains a crown from which leaves have already developed.

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Though this species can easily achieve large dimensions, it is not without a place in the aquascape. Young specimens possess superb contrast value in tanks that include primarily green plants, and larger plants make wonderful centerpieces if they are placed well and trimmed regularly.

Medicinal Uses:
Nymphaea lotus is a soothing, astringent herb that has diuretic and tranquilizing effects and is reputedly detoxicant and aphrodisiac.  The seeds, crushed in water are an old remedy for diabetes.  The rhizomes is useful in Diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia and general debility. The flowers are astringent and cardiotonic. The seeds are sweet, cooling, constipating, aphrodisiac, stomachic and restorative. It has found uses both as a culinary delight and starchy food staple as well as being used internally as a treatment for gastrointestinal disorders and jaundice.

Other Uses:
The ancient Egyptians cultivated the white lotus in ponds and marshes. This flower often appears in ancient Egyptian decorations. They believed that the lotus flower gave them strength and power; remains of the flower have been found in the burial tomb of Ramesses II.

The number 1,000 in ancient Egyptian numerals is represented by the symbol of the white lotus.

The ancient Egyptians also extracted perfume from this flower. They also used the white lotus in funerary garlands, temple offerings and female adornment.

The white lotus might have been one of the plants eaten by the Lotophagi of Homer’s Odyssey.

Nymphaea lotus is often used as an aquarium plant. Sometimes it is grown for its flowers, while other aquarists prefer to trim the lily pads, and just have the underwater foliage. It was introduced into western cultivation in 1802 by Loddiges Nursery.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymphaea_lotus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/details.php?id=47

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