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Perrys Giant Sunburst - Lotus (Bare Root Tuber)

Play It Koi

Sale price $35.00 Regular price $47.98

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Bright lemon-yellow single blooms. single blooms of 8-12 in. Large leaf. Medium to large spread. Plant height: 4-5 feet. Full sun. Good for medium to large ponds with water up to 4 feet

Latin name

Nelumbo 'Perry's Giant Sunburst'

Common name

'Perry's Giant Sunburst' Lotus

Family

Nelumbonaceae, the Lotus family. 

What kind of plant is it?

Hardy aquatic flowering perennial.

Hardiness

Zones 4 - 11. This aquatic perennial's tuberous roots colonize the soil at the bottom of earth-bottom ponds, or the soil in containers fully submerged in lined ponds.  The stems of the leaves can reach the surface of water that's as much as five feet deep—and then continue upward, above the water, two to six feet higher.  

Habit

Spreading, with strongly upright leaves and flowers.

Rate of Growth

In ideal habitat, very fast—even alarmingly so.

Size in ten years

Full-sized lotuses that are planted directly into earth-bottomed ponds can spread their chains of banana-like tubers outward by many yards a season, season after season.  In a decade, 'Perry's Giant Sunburst' could easily colonize a quarter of an acre and more.

 

The mature size of a lotus colony that grows in a submerged container is contained:  The cluster of large leaves and flowers might be four or five feet across, projecting two to five feet above the water line.  

Texture

Dense and tropical-looking.  The round bluish leaves, held above the water, are unique to lotuses.  They grow thickly enough to cast the water beneath them into full shade:  Lotuses are peerless "groundcovers" for ponds.

Grown for

its size: Full-sized lotuses, such as 'Perry's Giant Sunburst', are magnificent and even mesmerizing beasts.  They are, overwhelmingly, everyone's first choice in a lotus, not least just because they are so huge in leaf, overall size, and, of course, in flower.  The charms of a dwarf lotus, such as 'Baby Doll', are usually discovered later. 

 

its foliage:  Blue-green leaves are nearly circular, with the leaf stem attached at the center, to form a shallow bowl of foliage well over a foot across.

 

its flowers:  Swooningly dramatic, the foot-wide blossoms have creamy white petals.  The immense, flat-topped edifice at the center of the blossom is known as the carpellary receptacle.  It contains the stigmas, and is what develops into the flat seed-pods that contain their distinctive rattling seeds.  Around the base of the receptable is a large and very full ruff of right-yellow stamens, also butter yellow.  Bees adore the flowers, besieging them four and five at a time; they have particular interest in the stamens, among which they tumble like kids in a rock-concert mosh pit.  The flowers keep to a three-day schedule, closing up at night and opening still wider the next day.  (The night-time closure helps the interior of the flowers maintain a markedly warmer temperature than the surroundings.  The difference can be as much as 40 degrees; the heat is assumed to keep the flowers maximally attractive to their insect pollinators, who are more active in the warmth.)  By day four, the party's over.  The petals and stamens fall away suddenly, and the now-pollinated ovules in the base of the receptacle begin their transformation to round-seeded maturity.

 

its cosmopolitan distribution: Lotus tubers don't tolerate frost but are hardy anywhere the water is deep enough that the pond's surface-ice doesn't freeze all the way down to the soil, and yet is not so deep that their leaves can't reach at least a bit above the water's surface to get the full sun they need to grow and flower: From the frost-free tropics of Zone 11, then, all the way down to the seriously-Wintered Zone 4 of Northern Vermont and Canada.  Few plants, aquatic or terrestrial, have such a world-wide versatility.

Flowering season

July into Fall.

Color combinations

The white petals of the enormous flowers, as well as the gently blue leaves, enable 'Perry's Giant Sunburst' to go with everything.  The prominent yellow of the stamens and carpellary receptacle encourage allusions to the yellow of neighboring plant's foliage or flowers.  But because this yellow is restricted to the interior of the flowers, it doesn't queer the deal if neighboring plants need, instead, to be pink and proud, red and ready, or orange and original.