Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Nelumbo in Wellington, New Zealand

The cold tolerant American Lotus, Nelumbo lutea, has grown passably well in my temperate Wellington city garden over several years. It has not flowered and is certainly not vigorous. The more well-known and frost tender Nelumbo nucifera did not grow at all although root stock did stay alive for years. These ones look a little tatty because water snails have been nibbling at them. I grew them in food grade black plastic tubs which raises the water temperature somewhat.

I think Nelumbo lutea would be worth trying for a tropical look and food crop in inland parts of New Zealand where temperatures are more extreme. It tolerates considerable cold but also seems to require high heat to flourish. It grows so tentatively where I am I hardly ever harvest it for its many culinary uses.

I checked with Ministry for Primary industries, it is legal to import seed of Nelumbo lutea because it is considered a subspecies of Nelumbo nucifera, even though only Nelumbo nucifera is listed in their Plants Biosecurity Index of importable and prohibited plants:


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