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China Lotus Exhibition -- Outer-space bred lotus shown at 25th National Lotus Flowers Exhibition in Dazu County, China

posted 10 Jul 2011, 07:19 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 10 Jul 2011, 07:23 ]
China Central Television - 
Lotus flowers in blossom are seen during the 25th National Lotus Flowers Exhibition at Dazu County, southeast China's Chongqing Municipality. More than 500 different strains of lotus and 43 strains of outer space bred lotus are put on display during the lotus exhibition held from July 8 to September 8.

More than 500 different strains of lotus including a number of rare breeds come from 30 cities in China and many other countries, such as Russia and Japan.

"They are beautiful and I have never seen such a beautiful scene before," said a tourist.

The highlight of this exhibition is the outer space bred lotus. The breeder, a villager of Dazu County, introduced these lotuses. The lotus, which once traveled on Shenzhou VI spacecraft to outer space, was bred by combining pace breeding and crossbreeding.

"This strain of lotus is called 'Outer Space Sun', which has multi-petals. Before sent to space the lotus only had one layer of petals, when it returned it mutated into a much larger flower, as big as a platter and high-quality lotus seed," said Luo Dengqiang, director of Dazu lotus manor.

It is said that the blossom period of common lotus usually lasts for two to three months in summer and withers as soon as winter arrives. In order to solve this problem, Luo Dengqiang has invested more than 680,000 yuan during five successive years, by putting a total of 46 strains of lotus on the Number 21, 22 return satellites and Shenzhou VI spacecraft, which made him the first person in China to accomplish space breeding at his own expense. Although the blossom period of the outer space bred lotus still cannot extend beyond Chongqing's frost season, the period has however extended many times beyond the ordinary lotus.

"Only three out of the 46 strains of lotus were unsuccessful. Some strains of lotus blossoms for as long as 300 days or 280. The breed called Colorado can blossom for 320 days," said Luo Dengqiang.

At the exhibition, the space bred lotus of Luo Dengqiang impressed tourists deeply and attracted people from around the world.

"I come from Japan. Recent years, China's lotus industry is booming and Chongqing has its own one. You can see the unique style from such a large area of lotus flowers in blossom against the ancient buildings," said Ikegami Shoji, council member of the Japanese Lotus Culture Society.

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