Total 65 lotus accessions in genus Nelumbo mainly collected from China, were subjected to random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers to estimate the genetic diversity and to test the genetic basis of the relationships between morphotypes and molecular markers. Seventeen primers generated a total of 195 highly reproducible and discernible loci, among which 173 were polymorphic. Percent polymorphism varied from 66.7 to 100 with an average of 88.72, and five primers out of them, OPC05, OPG10, OPN20, OPP09 and OPS17, showed 100% polymorphism. A relatively high genetic diversity was detected among all the samples with the similarity coefficient values ranging from 0.45 to 0.85, and Nei’s gene diversity (h) 0.30, and Shannon index (I) 0.46. The UPGMA dendrogram clustered 65 accessions in four clusters and the clustering pattern showed two groups, N. nucifera ssp. nucifera and those accessions related to the American lotus, and some special cultivars, landraces, hybrids and the American lotus. Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCA) further indicated that the genetic diversity of Nelumbo accessions was not evenly distributed, instead, was presented by a clustered distribution pattern. Similar to the results revealed by the dendrogram, two main groups representing the two subspecies of N. nucifera, as well as some special landraces, cultivars of Chinese lotus, the Japanese lotus and hybrids out of the two groups were obtained. Neither the UPGMA dendrogram nor the PCA analysis exhibited strict relationship with geographic distribution and morphotypes among the accessions.