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Nelumbo nucifera, also known as Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, or simply lotus, is one of two species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae. This plant is an aquatic perennial. Under favorable 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 northeastern China. Nelumbo nucifera is the species of lotus sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists.
The flowers, seeds, young leaves, and "roots" (rhizomes) are all edible. In Sri Lanka, finely sliced lotus rhizome cooked with coconut milk and spices is a popular curry known as Nelum Ala Vyanjanaya