The pure white lotus flower, genus Nelumbo, is the only garden pond plant that flowers and produces fruit at the same time.
The flower can also be pink but the characteristics of both of the colors is that they rise above the water and get quite tall, making these plants one of the most majestic to place in your garden pond.
At night the entire flower, lasting about 3-5 days, closes and goes under the water, to be reborn in the sunlight.
Blooming periods are usually in late summer in the northern, or colder climates. They are hardy in growing zones 5 to 10 but, some varieties can survive in zone 4. Check out our zone hardiness pages for the area in which you live. The plant can regulate its flower temperature within such a narrow range much as humans and mammals do, and it is a belief that because of this regulation, the pollinating insects benefit.
They require a minimum of 6 hours of sun daily but will not bloom as well as if they were to have about 90 days of full sun each day and soil temperatures of minimum 75 degrees.
There are 5 species, all members of the water lily family. Featured extensively in Egyptian art, the white and pink lily opens at dusk while the blue lily opens early in the day. The leaf structure is spotted and typically lies flat on the surface of the pond. The distinctive seed pod looks like a watering can spout, and are sold throughout the world for decorative flower arrangements.
These plants provide a relaxing sensation when placed in your pond and the Egyptian Blue is also known to be a sedative. The flower, seeds, young leaves and roots or rhizomes can all be cooked and consumed in various food dishes, and some of the parts are even used in Asian herbal medicine.
Garden ponds that feature this plant will enhance the appearance of your pond and needed shade for your fish and wildlife.