Nelumbo nucifera, known by numerous common names including Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, or simply lotus, is one of two species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae. The Linnaean binomial Nelumbo nucifera is the currently recognized name for this species. 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 lake bed in northeastern China.
Lotus seeds or lotus nuts are the seeds of plants in the genus Nelumbo, particularly the species Nelumbo nucifera. The seeds are of great importance to East Asian cuisine and are used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine and in Chinese desserts. The seeds are most commonly sold in the shelled and dried form. Fresh lotus seeds are relatively uncommon in the market except in areas of lotus root and seed production, where they are sometimes sold as a raw snack.