|The lotus is a water plant and has various forms. Some are short like water lilies; some have long stems. The lotus pond at the Beijing Zoo was in perfect bloom when I was there.
The lotus is valued as a decorative plant, but is also an agricultural crop. The roots, seeds, leaves, and stems may be eaten. The root provides a crisp addition to many Chinese dishes. The seeds are eaten fresh or cooked. The seeds play a role in traditional Chinese medicine and are considered a healthy snack. They taste bitter when eaten raw.
Last update: November 2009
© Marilyn Shea, 2009