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a genus of perennial aquatic herbs of the family Nelumbonaceae (sometimes combined with the family Nymphaeaceae). The large, peltate leaves are on a long petioles and float on or rise high above the water. The flowers are solitary, large, bisexual, and on long peduncles. The fruit is a conical multiple nut (the nutlets are submerged in the receptacle). There are two species, distributed in the temperate zones of both hemispheres and in the tropics. The Indian lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), which has pink flowers, is found in northeastern Australia, the Malay Archipelago, the Philippine Islands, southern Japan, Sri Lanka, the Indochinese and Hindustan peninsulas, China, and northern Iran. In the USSR it grows in the Far East, Transcaucasia, and the Volga delta. In India and China, the Indian lotus has for a long time been regarded as a sacred plant. The American lotus (N. luted) grows on the Atlantic coast of North and Central America and on the Hawaiian Islands. There are many cultivated varieties. All parts of the Indian lotus and the American lotus contain vitamin C and rubber; the stems and shoots contain the poisonous substance nelumbine. The seeds and rhizomes are used in food and as fodder for domestic animals and fowl. The Egyptian lotus is a plant of the genus Nymphaea.
REFERENCESnigirevskaia, N. S. “Materialy k morfologii i sistematike roda Nelumbo Adaus.” In Trudy Botanicheskogo Instituta AN SSSR, series 1, 1964, fasc. 13.
N. S. SNIGIREVSKAIA