2002 Volume 71 Issue 6 Pages 812-817
Anthocyanin and carotenoid pigments in the petals of the flowering lotus, including Asian lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), American lotus (N. lutea) and their interspecific hybrids were analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The data were used to classify lotus cultivars by petal color. The chromatogram of red petals showed a typical major peak that corresponded to malvidin 3-glucoside and minor ones that represented malvidin 3-galactoside, delphinidin 3-galactoside, cyanidin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-arabinoside. Anthocyanin pigments were not detected in cultivars having light yellow, greenish-yellow and white petals. In the greenish-yellow petals, small amounts of xanthophylls and β-carotene were detected. The cultivars of flowering lotus were classified into four groups according to anthocyanin composition : 1) malvidin 3-glucoside, 2) malvidin 3-galactoside, malvidin 3-glucoside, and 4) no anthocyanin pigments. Their colors were red, pink, nail-red, and white or yellow, respectively. The determination of the flower color of each cultivar was carried out 2 days after flowering by using by a colorimeter. The amount of anthocyanin correlated negatively with the values of L*, and positively with a* values, while b* values correlated negatively with malvidin 3-galactoside and malvidin 3-glucoside concentrations in the CIE L*a*b* color system. These results suggest that cultivars of flowering lotus can be classified by composition and concentration of anthocyanin pigments.