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Nelumbium speciosum, Willd. (Lotus)

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Watercolour on paper, no date (late 18th early 19th century). Hand painted copy of an illustration commissioned by William Roxburgh. In his 'Flora Indica', Roxburgh tells of his familiarity with two 'sorts' of this plant from the coast of Coromandel, one with rose-coloured flowers, the other with white ones, and with a third variety brought from China, with smaller rosy flowers. He describes how they grow in 'such sweet water lakes' and how, on the coast they flower all year. In Bengal they flower during the hot season, April, May and June. Roxburgh writes also about the radical joints which, in old plant, are swelled into tubulosities of various size, '...from them issue many fungous fibres, and from the upper part and the interior part of these tubulosities issue one, two, or more leaves and flowers...'. Roxburgh then reports that the tender shoots of the roots are eaten by the natives, boiled or in their curries. The seeds are eaten raw, roasted and boiled. The natives also use the leaves as plates from where to eat. This beautiful plant, known with their Sanscrit name Padma, is considered holy and often used in religious ceremonies. The specimen here figured is the pink variety.

Copyright © RBG KEW

Media ID 654412

Date: 3rd December 2007

Author: Unknown

Filename: ROX00000055.jpg

Image Size: 3656 x 5104 Pixels

Filesize is 11.43MB

Version 2 is 6.68MB

Associated Categories: Botanical Art

Associated Categories: Botanical illustrations

Associated Categories: William Roxburgh

Keywords: 19th century, aquatic plant, botanical art, east india company, india, lotus, nymphaeaceae, pink, religion, water, william roxburgh collection