, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 323-330
Date: 27 Aug 2008

Cultivation of lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. ssp. nucifera) and its utilization in China

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Abstract

Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. ssp. nucifera), one of 12 aquatic species used as vegetable, has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years, and now has been widely cultivated in almost all provinces in China. The largest area under cultivation of lotus is located in the regions surrounding mid-down Yangtse River, including Hubei, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces. According to different purposes or morphological differences, the Chinese lotus (N. nucifera ssp. nucifera) is usually classified into three types: rhizome lotus, seed lotus and flower lotus. Rhizome lotus is mainly cultivated in Hubei, Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces; Seed lotus in Jiangxi, Fujian and Hunan, and flower lotus in Wuhan, Hubei province, and Beijing. Up to the year 2002, a total of 572 lotus accessions (including landraces, cultivars and breeding lines) were conserved in National Garden of Aquatic Vegetable, Wuhan, Hubei province, including those collections from 153 counties in 18 provinces, and lines bred by breeders. Out of these accessions, 310 were rhizome lotus which contains 201 landraces and 109 breeding lines; 229 were flower lotus including 172 cultivars and 57 breeding lines; and the rest 33 were seed lotus with 18 cultivars.