Photo from www.fegi.ru

Saving the World's
Coldest Growing Lotus
Page 2

by Alexander Nijman, Leidschendam, The Netherlands
Click images to enlarge

My aim is to let the public know that Nelumbo is found growing wild much farther north than is widely known. Establishing this lotus in cultivation is of interest especially to those in cold climates. Not only is ex-situ conservation important but the use of N. komarovii in creating new, more cold-hardy hybrids also has great potential.

I was able to obtain some seeds several years ago (originally from Vladivostok Botanical Garden sent to a grower in Germany to a contact in Florida USA who sent them to me) because of my special interest in them.


 Photo by Laura Williams
www.wild-russia.org
Here are my N. komarovii seedlings the first year, the summer of 2004. They were in the black bucket, at the right in the first picture, and the water was heated to 25°C (77°F) with an aquarium heater to mimic the short but warm summer conditions they have in the wild. 

 

 
Photos by Alexander Nijman

The rhizomes over-winter deep in the mud and form runners which grow just under the soil's surface. < In April of 2006 I replanted them from a 20 liter bucket into the white container. >

I have noticed that the plants start early, when it is still quite cool. A temperature of 12-14° C (54-57° F) seems to bring them out of hibernation, but the growth stops when it is still warm here in the Netherlands. The photo, above right, shows the plants in August. These were the last leaves and no new ones where formed! It seems that when the growth starts an inner clock starts to tick, something you see with a lot of native plants. They start to prepare for winter when it is still warm. Maybe day length has something to do with it.  

< Page 1

WGI ONLINE Journal Table of Contents

Water Gardeners International
Home | Join WGI | Members' Exclusive | Gateway to Water Gardening