Jun 18th, 2012

Mystical Majesty

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.

Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) 'Mrs. Perry D. Slocum'

Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) ‘Mrs. Perry D. Slocum’ — see the seed pod center?


Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) 'Mrs. Perry D. Slocum'

Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) ‘Mrs. Perry D. Slocum’


You might also enjoy a time-lapse video of our sacred lotus blooming produced a few years ago by Richmond Time-Lapse.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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