Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

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Palmer

Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by Palmer » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:13 pm

Nelumbo komarovii is the most northern growing lotus and one that may well be hardy enough for us to grow in the UK, I’m going to document its progress from seed to flower this will be one of those long ongoing thread because that can take up to three years but if this experiment is successful I hope it inspires others to have a go at growing this beautiful rare lotus from Russia.

You have to file the seed so water can enter in to it and start germination; the water needs to be around 75f the seed should then swell up within couple of days
Picture 1136.jpg
the two seeds started to germinate and root apeard after 4 days
Picture 1157.jpg
10 days later the first leaf
Picture 016.jpg
Its been two months and they are now at that stage were they need planting into a bigger pot and placing in the green house but I’m going to hold back for a couple of weeks because the weather is forecast to get colder again, I will update this thread when I repot them.
Picture 1208.jpg

ChrisG

Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by ChrisG » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:27 pm

Palmer, Those seem to be growing at an amazing rate. I imagine a few people on here are going to be watching to see how they do, as Lotus must be one of the ultimate tropical pond plants. Were the seeds easy to come by?

I think it was Steve (now in DC) and Owen who were trying different water lillies, and I think a few lotus as well.

Troppoz

Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by Troppoz » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:41 pm

Nelumbo komarovii
Ive never heard of this species before - I always though that there were only two species of Nelumbo, our local nucifera which also grows in SE Asia, and N lutea from North America. Where does this species come from?

I tried to grow some red flowering nucifera from seed but instead of the tray in your method I kept them in a softdrink bottle full of water which I changed daily. I also kept the bottle near the kitchen door way so whenever I went past I could give it a quick shake.

They germinated well but the seedlings were eaten by gouramis and watersnails when I introduced them to the pond, now gone... Truly glorious plants lotus...

Interestingly lotus is more closely related to proteas and plane trees than to true waterlillies...

Palmer

Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by Palmer » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:17 pm

Chris, this is the only seed supplier of Nelumbo komarovii that I know of, I was looking for a seed supplier of them for 3-4 years before I found this place.

http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... n%26sa%3DN

Sean, have a look at this its written by Alexander one of our members from Holland.

http://www.watergardenersinternational. ... page2.html

Owen

Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by Owen » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:13 pm

Good luck with the Lotus growing Palmer!

I had reasonable amount of success with Mrs Perry Slocum- from James K and grew some great leaves that summer of 07- however it did not like its first winter outside and did not reappear in 08.

I did however decide to try 2 more varieties last year and bought from Germany Charles Thomas and Maggie Belle Slocum- these actually went backwards from the moment they arrived and by mid summer there were no leaves left! I also just remembering bought a tuber not in growth from Ebay which was damaged when it arrived and rotted- i got a replacement which also rotted! Biy ive gotta stop buying these plants!

I gave them the sunniest spot I could in black circular containers (important to avoid the growing point of the tuber getting stuck in the corners of square pots). But alas I could not provide the heat I believe these plants need.

Im waiting a month or so before digging up the tubers (if there is anything left in there!) as I don't have space in my garden for pots of water with nothing in them! Im also banned from buying any more Lotus after last year.

Good luck with this species as the cultivars are quite tricky (and expensive!). I know Paul Spracklin and James K have great success with these plants- however im not sure what differences their plants have over mine- perhaps lower water levels? Protection over winter? Mine had about 6” of water over the soil- some say they only need a couple of inches if that- which would mean the water would heat up faster (and cool down faster).

Will look forward to seeing your plants grow they look like vigorous plants!

Owen

Palmer

Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by Palmer » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:09 pm

Hi Owen,
If you buy Nelumbo cultivars as plants there very expensive, seed are a much cheaper root to go down although I appreciate that’s no good when it comes to cultivars,
Then again I’m a species man I think its hard to beat what nature as already provided us with, try some seeds Owen there easy and cheap in comparison.

Nelumbo nucifera is a tropical plant and not hardy, Nelumbo nucifera “sub-form komarovii” is hardy, the seeds I have come from the Amur region of the far eastern Russia at 49 degrees north, that’s on a similar latitude to Paris France the summers are comparable to Paris but the winters are much colder in the Amur valley, –20c is common in winter and some times it can go as low as –40c.
I don’t think anyone has tried growing them in the UK before, at the backend of last year Alexander was selling them and shortly after seeds become available but prior to that they were a very hard plant to source so I would doubt James Knotts and Paul Pratlin would of tried them but they may have.

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Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by tropical-pete » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:30 pm

Hi Tony,

Thanks for doing this, I'll definitely be following it! Might give them a go myself too. Just wondering, in your third pic (the one after 10 days), there's only one leaf but a load of stem stuff floating around in the water - were they other leaves emerging/roots/a crumpled stem for the already formed leaf? Just wondering :)

Pete

Palmer

Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by Palmer » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:31 pm

Pete, when the first leaf opens the second third and fourth leaf are not far behind the length of the leaf stalk can be two foot so it can look like spaghetti junction in there.
Why they should do that I’m not sure maybe Alexander or Steve in DC can answer that!!

tai haku

Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by tai haku » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:12 am

Delighted to see someone giving this one a go. I've been intrigued ever since I saw the wGI article. Do we think it is likely to produce viable seed in british climes too?

Edited to add: a pond with this and a couple of nice Kirk Strawn tropical looking lilies (Mayla would be one) and you've got a stunning looking tropicalish pond.

Troppoz

Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by Troppoz » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:56 am

Well that is very interesting now isnt it - and has great potential for cool climates.

It doesnt look particularly different to nucifera at a glance...we have lagoons filled with them everywhere up here. You wouldnt want to go wading to pick flowers though, with the number of crocs in our wetlands it would be the last posy you ever picked...

Not that you would need to be worried about that in Russia...

Good luck with this and I hope it becomes established over there. icon_thumright

Sean

Palmer

Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by Palmer » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:18 am

Thanks for heads up Sean and tai haku,
They have been growing them outdoors in Holland for a few years now with good success but one problem they have had is if the temperatures go to low at night the flower buds drop off, they have had better results with flowering under glass, we have had two very poor summers though and I think in a good summer they should flower well outdoors I don’t know if they would produce seeds though.

Alexander

Re: Nelumbo komarovii from seed to flower in the UK

Post by Alexander » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:53 am

Nice to see this thread about Nelumbo komarovii. Nelumbo komarovii or Nelumbo nucifera ssp. komarovii is a form, subspecies or maybe just normal Nelumbo nucifera. But I use the name ''komarovii' because it always refers to Nelumbo nucifera from the Russian Far East when you look at internet. Its bassically a Nelumbo nucifera from the most northern provenances found in Russia and at the other side of the border in North East China (Manchuria) and probably Northern Korrea as well. But strictly taxonomically its a Nelumbo nucifera.
The main reason to look for Nelumbo komarovii is that it comes from the coldest provenance and thus best for use in gardens in cool temperate climates. If I had lived in a warmer climate I maybe had never heard of it as there are plenty Nelumbo forms s for warmer climates to grow.

About the growing in the UK and in other places with similair climates, its best to make a shallow lotus-pond. Chose the warmest sunniest place in the garden, best against a south facing sunny wall. Dig a hole about 60 cm deep, best at least 1 square meter, more is even better. Use a pondliner or some other material. Then fill it with at least 40 cm of good gardenloam or clay and above it 10 to 20 cm of water, no more. Even 5 cm of water is enough. The shallow water will warm up quickly, to deep it will stay to cold. The water and mud should have at least a temperature of 20 Celcius during the growing season. I grow my Nelumbo komarovii at an allotment, in full sun but not with the extra heat of a sunny wall. It has flowered here twice in 2008 and 2009. So with a warmer microclimate it should certainly work. In the UK the best climate is in the south-east but I guess the Midlands are also ok. In places like Scotland and Northern England its probably better in an unheated greenhouse, conservatory or tunnel.
Where I live we have about 15 days with 25 Celcius or more in a year. Normally Nelumbo needs much warmer climates but N. komarovii is tuff enough to grow here.
I also give them in the summer some cow dung wich I collect in a field nearby. Just put it on the surface, it will rot and the nutrions will feed your lotus. Nelumbos are heavy feeders but never use those pellets, they can harm it.

Nelumbo can be planted outside at the end of May, depending of the weather. After the risk of nightfrost has gone. You can also keep it during its first year under glass to get big plants. Next spring in March when they are still dormant you can plant them outside.

Good luck with them!

Alexander

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