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AU lotus research yields new offerings for flower enthusiasts

AUBURN – An Auburn University research and outreach project is moving from the laboratory into the mainstream market this month and for the first time ever, gardeners in parts of the United States will have the opportunity to buy spectacular lotus already in bloom.

Lotus, ancient aquatic perennial plants that are native to China, have been used for centuries throughout the world as food, medicine and ornamentals. Since 2001, AU horticulture professor Ken Tilt and a team of scientists from Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi and China have been exploring the possibility of growing lotus in the Southeast, particularly in Alabama’s Black Belt region, as a potential double-cropping option for west Alabama fish farmers.

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