Photos by Albert Brian Vick, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator
Text by Albert Brian Vick & Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator
The sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is blooming at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Mystical, majestic and magnificent with a magical fragrance. Apparently all parts are edible, but there’s more than simple satisfaction in either the sight or aroma alone – and the combination is marvelous. The Garden’s variety is called, ‘Mrs. Perry D. Slocum’, and is certainly one of the showiest varieties around.
For the plant people — here’s a bit more on how ‘Mrs. Perry D. Slocum’ was created (via Water Gardening Magazine):
hybridizing the native American lotus, Nelumbo lutea with the very double pink Nelumbo ‘Rosea Plena.’ Perry made eight crosses: 4 using N. lutea to N.‘ Rosea Plena’ and 4 vice versa. From those 8 crosses, only 2 seeds formed. Planting the 2 seeds the following year produced one weak seedling that was discarded and the other, an extremely vigorous plant that opened a very rich double pink, changing to creamy yellow with a pink flush over a three day blooming period. This changeable lotus was named ‘Mrs. Perry D. Slocum’ and is now the most popular and largest selling lotus in North America.