Name: Nelumbo nucifera
Origin: India through East Asia
Lotus is a water plant that produces edible tubers. It needs a large tub, bath or pond to spread. This variety has pink flowers and small tubers, it is suitable for smaller containers that the large tubered varieties.
The tubers are smaller than you will find in specialty markets but still good to eat.
Be aware that the plant may not flower in the first year as it gets established.
When to Plant: Keep the tuber in a bucket of fresh water (take it out of the plastic bag first) until the frosts in your area are over, then plant into a bath or pond half filled with good soil/potting mix blend. Do not make the soil too fertile or the water will go green with algae.
You will need to hold the tuber down in the soil with a brick or stone to stop it from floating until it develops roots. make sure that at least 15 cm of water covers the soil at all times.
After the first year it will die down in winter and lay dormant in the soil until mid spring. it will be tough enough to handle winter frosts so don't worry.
Plant Type: Perennial
Uses: tuber is sliced and added raw to salads. Lightly steamed or microwaved and served with a light soy or other sauce. There are plenty of recipes on the net. Lotus tuber has a mild, crunchy flavour and texture. I really like it.
Young tubers with white skin don't have to be peeled but older tubers may have to.
Growing Conditions: Needs full sun but if you get very hot summers then a bit of afternoon shade is appreciated. Make sure you add fertiliser tablets made for aquatic plants to the soil a couple of times a year.
Harvest tubers in winter after the plant dies down.
Pests and Diseases: I don't see any pests in my plants.
Special Qualities: tasty.
Plant: you will receive a tuber with two growing points in case you knock one off. The growing points are fragile so be careful. You will also receive two aquatic plant fertiliser tablets. Place one in the soil near the tuber when you plant it, then push the other into the soil when the plant is growing a couple months later.
I don't seem to have a lotus flower picture on my computer so I got this one of Wikipedia: By T.Voekler - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8142220