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How to Classify Lotus

From Bill Bancroft, Laura Bancroft, and Dr. Ken Tilt How to Classify Lotus In China, lotus are classified based on four characteristics: 1) plant heights: Tea Cup Lotus / exquisite (smallest of bowl lotus) Bowl Lotus (<13”) Small / Dwarf Lotus (1-2’) Medium Lotus (2-4’) Large Lotus (4-8’) *when planted properly 2) Lotus Flower diameter 3) Lotus Flower type: single petals or few (<25 petals semi-double petals (25-50 petals) double or multi-petals (>50 petals) 4) Lotus Flower color: Versicolors (multi) Pinks Reds Yellows Whites Changeable Lotuses Considerable variation in flower color and shape, making lotus one of the most popular ornamental and cultivated plants in Asia, has also made it hard to develop a standard system of identification. Classification is further complicated because the final growing size of lotuses is determined by many factors, including the amount of sunlight, the size of the containers or growing area, and the amount of fertilizer available. Researchers at Auburn, directed by Dr. Kenneth Tilt, PhD, have been working in conjunction with the IWGS to develop a uniform system of ID for known ornamental cultivars based on plant size, flower color and flower form. "For plant size, a simple system using the classifications of miniature, small, medium, and large has been suggested. The categories suggested for flower type are more descriptive than the Chinese categories, using single (<25 petals), double (25-50 petals), multi-petal (>50+ petals) and thousand-petal (many petals). Dr. Diake Tian, PhD, explains the category of thousand-petal as a special case of double flower form. It is a particularly useful term in horticulture because this concept presents a good image of the flower when the number of petals ranges from several hundred to one thousand or even more. It is a concept with strong background in Chinese culture. It means the flower has many petals, many more than the normal double flower lotus. Here a thousand is not exactly equal to one thousand." -TMN