A series which tells the story of how people came to understand the natural order of the plant world, and how the quest to discover how plants grow uncovered the secret to life on the planet.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Botany: A Blooming History - Nelumbo nucifera - Netflix
Nelumbo nucifera, also known as Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, Egyptian bean or simply lotus, is one of two extant species of aquatic plant in the 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 Willd. and Nymphaea nelumbo, among others. (These names are obsolete synonyms and are avoided in current works.) 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. It has a very wide native distribution, ranging from central and northern India (at altitudes up to 1,400 m or 4,600 ft in the southern Himalayas), through northern Indochina and East Asia (north to the Amur region; the Russian populations have sometimes been referred to as “Nelumbo komarovii”), with isolated locations at the Caspian Sea. Today the species also occurs in southern India, Sri Lanka, virtually all of Southeast Asia, New Guinea and northern and eastern Australia, but this is probably the result of human translocations. It has a very long history (c. 3,000 years) of being cultivated for its edible seeds, and it is commonly cultivated in water gardens. It is the national flower of India and Vietnam.
Botany: A Blooming History - Commercialization limit through storage restrictions - Netflix
Currently most rhizomes are consumed fresh and it is not common to store them due to their poor shelf life performance. This limits export possibilities for low-income production countries in Asia. Rhizomes quickly lose water, oxidation occurs and nutrient composition changes within a short time after harvest. Optimal storage temperatures range between 5 to 8 °C (41 to 46 °F). There are three different approaches to storing rhizomes. By stacking the rhizomes, they are storable and remain fresh for about three weeks. Special stacking with silver sand and soil results in five to six layers that prevent water loss, thus the rhizome stays fresh for up to two months. However the method is not suitable for commercialization but rather for home use. Hydrogen sulfide fumigation reduces enzymatic browning and therefore ensures rhizome quality. Dipping the rhizomes in a salt solution prevents oxidation and bacterial reproduction, which allows storage for up to five months and a greater export ability. This treatment is related to high cost and inefficient cleaning process before eating the rhizomes.
Botany: A Blooming History - References - Netflix