In many parts of the world, all types of lotus flowers are considered to be sacred. They are well known for their religious significance and their beauty, especially in Asia. This is a very ancient type of flower, and some seeds have been germinating for well over 1,000 years. This makes it one of the oldest flowers recorded in botanic books and history books.
Another important characteristic of types of lotus flowers is that they can actually generate heat, and they’re able to self-regulate the temperature. This is very similar to what humans and animals do. If you’re curious to know more about this plant and the various types of lotus flowers available, read on.
Lotus flowers can provide pretty color and texture to your smaller ponds, and they come in a very broad range of colors and sizes. Lotus flower by Rob Schleiffert / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
A Brief History
It’s not possible to fully trace the lotus flower’s origins, but they’re commonly depicted in ancient cultures around the world. If you were to look in Egyptian mythology, they believed that the lotus gave birth to the sun because the flower will bloom during the day and close up again during the nighttime.
However, you can now find types of lotus flowers in different countries ranging from Russia to India to Australia. Human migration moved this flower to virtually every area of the world. It’s an aquatic plant that belongs to the Nelumbonaceae family. The Nelumbo Nucifera and the Nelumbo Lutea are the two different species you’ll find inside this family.
The transformation your types of lotus flowers go through is incredible. They can easily grow in ponds that are full of dirt and mud. They’re also a hardy plant, and they’re resistant to various weather types. Due to the growth pattern, this plant long has links to enlightenment, rebirth, and purity that dates back thousands of years. It can be a very fragrant flower when it opens in the morning hours, but it closes again by late afternoon.
35 Types of Lotus Flowers
This perennial aquatic flower comes with many diverse flower subtypes, and the flowers and roots make it easy to differentiate. They can have many petals, a few petals, multiple petals, or double petals. They also come in a huge range of colors, including pink, white, yellow, or red.
1. Absolute Reality
When this type of lotus flower blooms, it offers up to 24 single petals, and it features wider petals in a stunning green color. It’ll bloom from late July to late in August. You get very soft leaves with this plant, and the flower is very full and dense. It stretches roughly 10 inches in diameter, and you’ll get two or three blooms per summer. It has a history that stretches back to ancient times.
2. American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea)
It’s easy to confuse this type of lotus flower with the water lily. However, unlike the water lily, this plant has uncut leaves that are a greenish-blue color and circular in shape. It can also grow up to three feet high, and you get very delicate flowers that come in white or yellow with 20 or more petals each. You’ll find this commercially marketed as the Water Chinquapin.
3. Angel Wings (Nelumbo nucifera)
You’ll get unusually large leaves with this type of lotus flower that can easily span two feet in diameter, and they are round, large, waxy green in coloring. The petals point towards the center of the plant and curl very slightly along the ends. This is a white flower that is very fragrant, and they can get up to 10 inches in diameter. They tend to bloom in July and go to September, and they can get an impressive six feet high. They do extremely well in shallow gardens and shallow water because they don’t need a huge amount of water to do well.
4. Asiatic (Nelumbo – Alba grandiflora)
This type of lotus flower will get up to four feet high, and it’s very beautiful due to the pure white coloring. It’s a larger flower that offers a pea-green, large foliage with a strong fragrance. As a bonus, this is the lotus flower type that gets produced virtually all year round in big masses, and it does well in hanging baskets.
5. Blue Star Lotus (Nymphaea nouchali)
Native to the eastern and southern parts of Asia, this type of lotus flower offers reddish edges with violet-blue petals. You can get it in other shades like white, purple, mauve, and fuschia, and this lends the plant the nickname of the Blue and Red Water Lily. You’ll get roughly 15 angular petals and each bloom, and the foliage is lighter green with a dark green underside and a rounded shape.
The violet-blue petals on this type of lotus flower can be very striking, especially when you have several of them growing in one spot. Floating by Peter Nijenhuis / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
6. Carolina Queen Lotus
This type of lotus flower can get up to six feet high and it looks very similar to a traditional tulip blossom. The petals are a pretty rose-pink color. This plant does very well in medium or large ponds in a place that has full sun.
7. Celestial Lotus
A single-petal, intermediate-sized type of lotus flower with 80 petals on every bloom with a striking red coloring, this flower will bloom in July to the end of August. It offers very soft leaves. The petals are roughly eight-inches in diameter, and you may hear people refer to it as the Red celestial Lotus.
8. Chawan (Nelumbo)
This type of lotus flower gets up to 30 inches high, and this size makes them the perfect plant for ponds and containers. You’ll get pretty ivory-white petals with veins and margins that are a deep pink color. The flower resembles a rice bowl, and this is what the name means.
9. Cherry Lotus
The petals on this type of lotus flower are a reddish-purple that fades to a pink color, and you’ll get around 18 petals per bloom. The flowers are roughly eight inches in diameter. It will bloom from late July to the end of August, and you’ll get coarse leaves with wide petals. This look makes it a very beautiful option.
10. Chinese Double Rose (Nelumbo)
Offering double blooms, this specific type of lotus flower has two-toned petals in deep pink and creamy white. It’ll get up to two feet high at full maturity. This plant slightly resembles the look of a peony, and it’s a free-flowering lotus.
11. Clear Moon
This type of lotus flower offers up to 26 petals on each bloom, and it has a whitish-green coloring with leaves that can get up to an impressive 15 inches long. The flower will be up to seven inches in diameter when it’s mature, and it’ll bloom at the end of July until September. You’ll see a pistachio-green bud in the center. If you touch the leaves, they’re very soft. It’ll grow well in a smaller pot too.
12. Curious Lotus
A very prolific bloomer, this type of lotus flower can have anywhere from 300 to 6,000 petals with striations that are virtually invisible. It’s a dual-headed bloom, and the bottom bloom has a pinkish-red hue on the petals. The top flower has petals that are a lot shorter, and it’ll bloom in the month of August. The leaves are very soft to the touch, and it reproduces through the roots instead of seeds.
13. Golden Wheel
This type of lotus flower has pretty white petals, red tips, and a red border with a bright yellow center to make it stand out. It will bloom from early in July until the start of September, and the leaves feel very coarse. It offers 20 petals per flower, and it has subtle striations with fantastic flower production.
14. Green Maiden Lotus
This is a very small type of lotus flower that doesn’t get more than three feet high, and this is why it’s a dwarf variety. The petals are a very soft pink but will shift to yellow on the third day. It is best planted in zones 4 to 11 in full sun, and it’s a great plant to put in small or medium pots or containers.
15. Japanese Lotus
Each bloom on this type of lotus flower offers roughly 20 petals that are a very pretty pink shade. The leaves have a very smooth feel and can get two feet high. It can grow in colder climates without a problem, and it has a history that stretches back hundreds of years. It’ll only bloom throughout the month of August.
Most lotus flowers start out a pretty pink shade and fade to yellow as the days go by. Lotus by deckerme / CC BY 2.0
16. Little Green House Lotus
As a true bowl lotus, this type of lotus flower is a dwarf plant that tops out at a maximum of two feet high. It offers double blooms with pink tips and white coloring, and the leaves can stretch up to 10 inches. It’s nice to put in containers or in smaller ponds.
17. Lace Gem
As a double-flowering lotus that looks a lot like a peony, this type of lotus flower offers a very deep red coloring with eye-catching striations. The petals are almost eight inches in diameter, and it’ll start to bloom in the middle of July and go until September. Each bloom will have around 120 petals, and it has beautiful, large foliage that complements the flower’s petal coloring.
18. Momo Botan (Nelumbo)
Getting up to two feet high, this type of lotus flower is one of the best options when it comes to blooms. The rose-pink coloring on the double petals is very striking, and it has one of the longer blooming seasons. Also, the petals on this flower will stay open all day long, and it looks pretty in containers or in small or medium-sized ponds.
19. Mrs. Perry D. Slocum (Nelumbo)
This type of lotus flower will get up to four feet high, and it’s a stunning specimen that has double petals that are very large, and they open with a darker pink coloring. They eventually lighten to a soft pink, then yellow, and then to a creamy yellow by the third day they’re blooming. The flower is so eye-catching and stunning that a lot of people consider it fake when they first see it.
20. Nail Red Bowl Lotus
Offering reddish-pink tips on creamy white leaves, this type of lotus flower is the size of a small rice bowl. It’ll bloom very heavily throughout August. The leaves are very slightly coarse to the touch, and it produces huge amounts of flowers when it blooms each season.
21. Parrot’s Beak (Lotus berthelotii)
Parrot’s Beak is one type of lotus flower that has one a number of international flower awards. You’ll get silverish-gray leaves that are more narrow, and the flowers are a gorgeous crimson. They can get up to a foot high at full maturity, and they span three feet. Hummingbirds and butterflies flock to the plant, and they look very nice in rock gardens or Mediterranean-style gardens. As a bonus, they’re deer-resistant.
22. Perry’s Giant Sunburst (Nelumbo)
This type of lotus flower offers cup-shaped, large, double-flower petals that grow on very sturdy stems right above the plant’s foliage. Every flower on this plant will bloom for three days and close up during the night hours. After it flowers, you’ll get nut-like fruits that look like a watering can. The flowers are very fragrant.
You’ll get 18 petals per bloom with this type of lotus flower, and the leaves are slightly coarse to the touch. It offers a deep red hue with very distinct striations. It’ll bloom from late July until September, and it has higher flower production counts than a lot of lotus plants with a very eye-catching color scheme.
24. Red Lotus of Tatsuta
Blooming with deep red coloring on the flowers with 18 petals and district striations, this type of lotus flower is striking. It also has a receptacle that has a soft earth-tone coloring with peaked tips on the inner petals. As a bonus, this lotus flower can add a nice spicy taste to different dishes.
Generally speaking, deep red lotus flowers are very striking when you add them to any pond, and some are edible with a nice spice. Lotus #1 by Monika Hoinkis / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
25. Red Lotus of The Shine
Offering very good flower production, this type of lotus flower was specifically developed to be a lotus flower. It has a reddish-pink coloring on the petals with a yellow center and dark red tips. The leaves are around 16 inches long, and they offer an elegant look for the plant.
26. Red Lotus of Yohzan
This type of lotus flower has a very tall and strong look with a deep red coloring and very distinct striations. You’ll get roughly 25 petals on each bloom, and the red hue is so dark that it drifts toward a crimson-like color.
27. Red Lotus at Yushan
This is a semi-double type of lotus flower with 30 petals on each bloom, and it typically blooms each year from the middle of July to the end of August. The dark pink coloring on the flower will fade very rapidly to a softer shade. The leaves are around two feet high, and they feel coarse to the touch.
28. Rosea Plena (Nelumbo – Roseum Plenum)
A flowering, aquatic type of lotus flower, it has leaves that are up to two feet wide. The plant can get up to two feet high at full maturity, and it’s very fragrant. The single petals usually have a pink coloring to them or white if it’s a double-petal variation. The flower will bloom for three days and close at night before it grows an ornamental-looking but woody fruit. You use the seeds and tubers in Chinese dishes, and there is currently a dwarf plant being developed for small ponds and containers.
29. Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
Since this type of lotus flower can grow from very muddy ponds to stretch above the water’s surface, it’s considered sacred in East India. The leaves are very easy to keep clean, and the petals are a white or pink color. They can get up to 13 inches in diameter. You may hear it referred to as the Indian Lotus or the Bean of India, and each part of the plant will get used in various ways throughout Asia. This includes the leaves, roots, stamen, and seeds for snacks or food.
30. Sacred Pink (Nelumbo – Nucifera speciosum)
This is a very pretty white and pink type of lotus flower that will get up to four feet high at full maturity. It’s a very important flower in several Eastern religions. It does very well in zones 4 to 11, and many people think that it has mystical effects.
This is a crossbreed type of lotus flower that was originally developed in 1968. You’ll get whtie petals with reddish-pink tips and a bright yellow center. Even when you put it into a container, you can see two or three flowers each year. The petals are six inches wide with leaves that are around a foot high.
32. Sunflower Lotus
The Sunflower type of lotus flower is a free-flowering variety, and it offers deep pink coloring on the blossoms. It’s excellent for medium or small water gardens or for containers. It’ll do very well in zones 4 to 11, and it needs full sun each day to thrive. It’ll top out at five feet high, and it’s a very showy plant.
33. White Lotus
Better known as the White Water Lily or the Tiger Lotus, this is an elegant type of lotus flower. It offers striking, large white petals that sit right on top of a lily pad. It’s very popular in ponds or aquariums too.
White lotus flowers are some of the most popular varieties available, and you can choose from a huge range of sizes and shapes. White Lotus by Vivek Yadav / CC BY 2.0
34. White Lotus of Bowl
As the name suggests, this type of lotus flower offers big, single petals in a pure white coloring. The leaves can get up to eight inches long, and they grow very well wherever you choose to plant them. They have long, large thorns on the stem, and the outer edges of the petals have a slightly peaked look.
35. Wisteria Court
Finally, this lotus flower has 20 to 25 petals in every bloom, and it’s one of the biggest varieties in the Japanese lotus flower category. The petals can get up to 10 inches in diameter, and the leaves are very coarse when you touch them. It’ll start to bloom in July and go through August, and the petals have very distinct striations.
Lotus Flower Colors and Their Meanings
We touched on the fact that lotus flowers come in a range of colors, including yellow, pink, blue, white, purple, and red. The color is the biggest indicator to the particular plant’s spiritual interpretations and meaning.
Blue Lotus Flower:
Blue lotus flowers are very hard to find but very eye-catching. These flowers have links to thought over emotions, and they frequently reference the mind. They symbolize worldly aspirations, knowledge, and wisdom.
Pink Lotus Flower:
This type of lotus flower is often linked to Buddhism, and it’s a very charming plant that is supposed to represent Buddha’s earthly symbol. It has several meanings, depending on the bud’s state. A pink lotus with closed buds symbolizes passing through a spiritual path while one in full bloom represents enlightenment.
Purple Lotus Flower:
Purple lotus flowers also typically have links to Buddhism. It’s another rare coloring, and they usually represent harmony, self-awakening, and striking a balance between the different parts of yourself.
Red Lotus Flower:
The meaning of any red lotus flower isn’t different from other red flowers like carnations or roses. The delicate but bold color represents sympathy, compassion, and selfless love. They can represent generosity, passion, and the heart.
White Lotus Flower:
White flowers are one of the most popular varieties, and it has many meanings. It represents grace, beauty, wealth, purity of mind, faith, fertility, and knowledge. They earned the nickname of the Womb of the World due to their popularity levels.
Yellow Lotus Flower:
There are many lotus flowers available in yellow hues. When it comes to religion, yellow signifies spiritualism with curiosity. They also represent hospitality and openness due to the bright coloring.
Ancient Egypt Lotus Flower Meanings
The lotus flower represented the sun and rebirth in Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians believed that the lotus flower and the sun had one important thing in common. They both disappeared at night and came back in the morning. Due to this association, the various types of lotus flowers symbolizes creation.
Also, lotus flowers signified death in this culture. The Book of the Dead, which is an ancient text that commemorates the dead, has a spell that will turn a person into a lotus flower. When you look at the hieroglyphics in Ancient Egypt, you’ll see this flower predominantly displayed. It also has significance for helping to unit lower and upper Egypt.
Buddhism Lotus Flower Meanings
Lotus flowers are vital to Buddhism. In this religion, the lotus flower symbolizes spiritual awakening, faithfulness, and purity. This belief comes from the fact that this flower can emerge from very muddy water. Buddhists see this as rising above in spite of challenges and moving toward wisdom’s light. The symbolism of this flower will differ in this religion, depending on the color.
For example, blue types of lotus flowers represent the victory of the spirit over wisdom and knowledge. White lotus flowers represent purity and peace, and red flowers represent compassion and love. Purple flowers have a deeper significance because the petals of these flowers represent Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path teachings. The pink lotus flower is central to this religion, and it’s widely regarded as the true lotus.
Buddhism is a religion that has embraced the lotus flower for centuries as a cornerstone of the practice. Teaching Buddhism by Tohr, l’Alchimista / CC BY-SA 2.0
Christianity Lotus Flower Meanings
Lotus flowers are also very important in Christianity. They usually represent purity and the universe’s creation. Most Christians generally don’t believe that material things like this flower can have divine properties, but they do recognize the associations between Jesus and sacred flowers.
For example, the lotus flower will rise up out of muddy water for three days before it actually blooms. The plant’s root system can get up to six feet deep. Also, the seeds tend to live for a long time and you can resurrect them after an inactive period. All of these examples have ties to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
Hinduism Lotus Flower Meanings
In Hinduism, various types of lotus flowers are famous symbols. Generally speaking, these flowers represent growth, spiritual enlightenment, birth, and purity. The flower also symbolizes your ability to perform a duty without having any influences from gain, pleasure, or desire.
Lotus flowers also reference the belief that all life begins in water. In the Hindu tradition, they believe that Lord Brahma came from Lord Vishnu when he was sitting on a lotus plant. Other deities in this religion also have ties to the lotus flower, including Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and Goddess Saraswti, the Hindu goddess of learning.
Other Religions and Cultures – Lotus Flower Meanings
In other cultures and religions, types of lotus flowers also hold important symbolism and meanings. In Western cultures, this bloom usually represents searching for the true meaning of life. They also symbolize birth and reincarnation due to their growth habits. In Chinese culture, the meanings are different because this flower represents marital happiness and femininity.
This is different in Japan because the Japanese view this flower as enchanting and spiritual. They also represent body and mind purity. In Jainism, the lotus flower is sacred. In particular, the blue lotus flower is the symbol of Neminatha, the 21st Jina.
We’ve outlined 35 pretty lotus flowers for you to consider adding to your pond or container garden. You can mix and match plants based on your growing zone and landscape. Whatever you pick, you’ll get a stunning plant that is very fragrant.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.