From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. (Science: botany) a name of several kinds of water lilies; as Nelumbium speciosum, used in religious ceremonies, anciently in egypt, and to this day in Asia; Nelumbium luteum, the American lotus; and nymphaea lotus and N. Caerulea, the respectively white-flowered and blue-flowered lotus of modern egypt, which, with Nelumbium speciosum, are figured on its ancient monuments. The lotus of the lotuseaters, probably a tree found in northern Africa, Sicily, Portugal, and Spain (Zizyphus lotus), the fruit of which is mildly sweet. It was fabled by the ancients to make strangers who ate of it forget their native country, or lose all desire to return to it.

The lote, or nettle tree. See lote.

a genus (lotus) of leguminous plants much resembling clover.

alternative forms: lotos] European lotus, a small tree (Diospyros lotus) of southern Europe and Asia; also, its rather large bluish black berry, which is called also the date plum.

2. An ornament much used in egyptian architecture, generally asserted to have been suggested by the egyptian water lily.

Origin: L. Lotus, gr. Cf. Lote.