How to Germinate Blue Lotus Seeds
Despite its name, the legendary Egyptian blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) really isn’t a lotus plant. So, if an advertisement offers seeds of blue lotus for sale, check carefully to see whether the offer is for Nymphaea spp., a water lily plant, or for Nelumba spp., a lotus plant. The seeds, and how to germinate them, differ greatly — but only the water lily has blue flowers.
Water Lily vs. Water Lotus
Blue lotus, Nymphaea caerulea (U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12), is a tropical water lily, explains Missouri Botanical Garden. Synonyms include Sacred blue lily of the Nile, Egyptian blue water lily and cultivar ‘Blue Beauty’ (common names Blue Beauty and Pennsylvania), according to North Carolina State University Extension. Hardy Nymphaea spp. survive in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 10, says Missouri Botanical Garden. One difference between tropical and hardy water lilies is that tropical water lily flower stems extend above the water level while hardy water lily flowers float at water level.
Lotuses belong to the genus Nelumbo (USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 10). According to Pond Lotus, Nelumbo lutea are North American natives while Nelumbo nucifera grow on multiple continents. No blue hybrid of these two species has been developed, yet.
According to New York Botanical Garden, water lilies and lotuses differ in leaf shape, seed pod location and water depth. Water lily leaves are thick and waxy with a notch in each leaf; lotus leaves are thin and papery. Water lily seed pods form under water while lotus seed pods stand above water level after the flowers die. Water lilies prefer water that is 24 to 60 inches deep, and lotuses prefer water about 12 inches deep.
Germinating Nymphaea Caerulea Seeds
Seed Area explains how to grow blue lotus water lilies from seed. Because of hybridization, water lilies grown from seeds may not look like the parent, according to Victoria Adventure, so start with confirmed Nymphaea caerulea flowers to make sure you’re harvesting blue lotus flower seeds.
Select a Fertilized Flower
A fertilized flower will be submerged with a coiled or spiraled stem. An unfertilized flower will sink on a straight stem.
Capture the Seeds
Capture the Nymphaea caerulea seeds by surrounding the fertile flower with a plastic bag. Close the bag with a twist tie or other loose fastener. Be sure there is water in the bag. Or, wait 10 days and place the fertilized flower in a bucket of distilled water. When the seeds burst out from the flower, they will float in the bag or bucket thanks to their attached flotation arils. The arils will dissolve in a few days.
Collect Viable Seeds
Viable seeds will be gray, green or brown and may sink. Seeds that won’t germinate will be tan, white or reddish.
Store Seeds Until Planting
Pat tropical water lily seeds like Nymphaea caerulea seeds dry with paper towels and store them in a refrigerator until ready to plant. (Hardy water lily seeds should be stored in distilled water without disturbing the coating until they are ready to plant.)
Planting the Seeds
Fill small containers with garden soil, not potting soil. Spread seeds across the top and cover with a thin layer of fine sand.
Submerge the Seeds
Fill an aquarium or fishbowl with enough distilled water to submerge the seeds to a depth of no more than 3 inches of water.
Lighting the Seeds
Provide warmth and light for the seeds and growing seedlings. A grow light placed 18 inches to 24 inches above the seeds works well.
Transplanting the Seedlings
When the first leaves reach the water’s surface, carefully remove the seedlings. Rinse the soil off. Place seedlings in containers half-filled with bone meal and aquatic plant fertilizer. Fill containers to the top with garden soil. Submerge in 2 to 4 inches of water. Replant the seedlings into a pond or tub after about six months.
How to Germinate Blue Lotus Seeds. Lotus blossoms served as a symbol of rebirth in ancient Egypt, where they bloomed profusely in the Nile during the days of the pharaohs. The blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea), also called Egyptian blue water lily, has largely disappeared from the Nile in modern times, but thrives in …
Blue Lotus Flower: Uses, Benefits, and Safety
Blue lotus flower (Nymphaea caerulea) is a psychoactive plant, also known as blue Egyptian lotus, blue water lily, and sacred blue lily.
It’s been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years as a natural aphrodisiac, sleep aid, and anxiety reliever. However, due to its psychoactive properties, many people wonder if it’s legal and safe to use.
This article tells you all you need to know about blue lotus flower, including its benefits, downsides, legality, and safety.
Blue lotus flower is a water lily that predominantly grows in Egypt and certain parts of Asia.
It holds cultural importance, and images of the flower have been found on ancient papyri and on the walls of tombs. Historians believe it was once used in Egypt as a traditional medicine to treat an array of conditions and disorders like anxiety and insomnia ( 1 ).
It’s known as an entheogenic drug, which is a mind-altering substance believed to alter one’s consciousness in a spiritual or religious manner. This term is commonly used instead of “hallucinogenic” or “psychedelic” (2).
The two main compounds responsible for the flower’s psychoactive and medicinal effects are apomorphine and nuciferine ( 1 , 3 , 4, 5):
- Apomorphine. A psychoactive compound that acts as a dopamine agonist, meaning it can instill a happy and euphoric feeling. It may also help with muscle control in those with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and erectile dysfunction.
- Nuciferine. A compound thought to act as an antipsychotic drug that induces feelings of calmness through mechanisms that aren’t yet fully understood. It has also been shown to improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Consuming blue lotus flower may make you feel “high” and result in a gentle euphoria. Some people have drawn comparisons to the high you experience after consuming cannabis, though this can be largely individual.
Currently, blue lotus flower isn’t approved for human consumption in the United States. However, it’s not a controlled substance and is legally allowed to be cultivated, sold, and purchased except in the state of Louisiana where it’s illegal ( 1 , 6).
The most common forms of the flower include teas, infused wine and spirits, and products to smoke or vape. You may be able to find these in specialty holistic wellness stores, vape shops, or online.
Despite this, always check your local and federal laws regarding the legality of any psychoactive substances and speak with a healthcare professional before trying them.
The two compounds responsible for the psychoactive and medicinal properties in blue lotus flower are apomorphine and nuciferine. Always check your local and federal laws and consult your healthcare provider before trying the flower.
Despite the many claims of blue lotus flower’s health benefits, there’s only limited research on the plant.
Historically, it’s been used recreationally and medicinally, with most advocates claiming it can improve sleep, reduce anxiety, assist with erectile dysfunction, and act as a natural aphrodisiac ( 1 , 7 ).
Though no direct research supports these claims, many suspect that these effects come from the two compounds in the flower — apomorphine and nuciferine — commonly known to promote calmness and assist with muscle control ( 1 , 7 ).
Furthermore, blue lotus flower contains antioxidants like flavonoids, quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin ( 8 ).
Antioxidants promote good health by fighting free radicals, which can otherwise damage your body’s cells. A diet high in antioxidants is associated with a lower risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer ( 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 ).
Yet, despite its antioxidant content, no research directly links this flower with a reduced risk of chronic disease, and no studies have confirmed whether there’s an ideal way to consume it to reap the most benefits.
The best way to get antioxidants is to include a variety of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet like vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, green tea, and coffee ( 9 , 11 ).
Although proponents believe that blue lotus flower may improve sleep, anxiety, erectile dysfunction, and many other conditions, limited research supports these claims.
Even though you can buy blue lotus flower online and in certain stores, there’s a large debate as to whether it should be a legal substance due to its psychoactive properties.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labels the flower as poisonous, yet doesn’t classify it as a controlled substance. This means that you can legally purchase blue lotus teas, incense, and oils. It’s legal in most countries except for Poland, Russia, and Latvia ( 1 , 13).
Though proponents of the flower tout its medicinal benefits, very limited research backs up these claims. Further, there’s no safety data on the substance and no generally accepted dosage.
Therefore, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider if you’re considering trying blue lotus flower.
It’s also important to note that children and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid the flower due to the lack of research on its safety in these populations.
Finally, because of its psychoactive properties, it may not be suitable for everyone and shouldn’t be mixed with other substances like cannabis or alcohol.
Do not drive or perform other activities while consuming the flower.
Limited studies exist on blue lotus flower and its effect on human health and safety. Due to its psychoactive properties, always consult with a healthcare provider and avoid driving or performing other activities while under the influence.
The blue lotus flower has been used for thousands of years as a traditional medicine in ancient Egypt. This article tells you all you need to know about blue lotus flower, including its benefits, downsides, legality, and safety.