Nelumbo nucifera, known by a number of names including Indian Lotus, Sacred Lotus, Bean of India, or simply Lotus, is a plant in the monogeneric family Nelumbonaceae. The Linnaean binomial Nelumbo nucifera is the currently recognized name for this species, which has been classified under the former names, Nelumbium speciosum and Nymphaea nelumbo, among others. Names other than Nelumbo nucifera are obsolete synonyms and should not be used in current works. This plant is an aquatic perennial. Under favourable circumstances its seeds may remain viable for many years, with the oldest recorded lotus germination being from that of seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lakebed in north-eastern China. Native to Tropical Asia and Queensland, Australia, it is commonly cultivated in water gardens. The white and pink lotuses are national flowers of India and Vietnam, respectively.
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