Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

Plural of Lotus

The Quick Answer
The plural of lotus is loti or lotuses.

The Plural of Lotus

The plural of lotus is lotuses or loti.
  • Lotuses are found in white and pink colors and they grow in shallow and murky waters.
  • Lotuses are symbols of purity and enlightenment.
The noun lotus has a Latin root, which is the derivation of the plural loti. Through common usage, lotuses (which adheres to the standard rules for forming plurals) has become the more common plural.

The noun lotus adheres to the standard rules for forming the plurals of nouns in English (shown in the table below).

Type Example of Type Forming the Plural Plural
Most Nouns lamp
scythe
add s lamps
scythes
Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z lotus
dress
add es lotuses
dresses
Nouns ending [consonant] o hero
zero
tomato
add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
heroes
zeros
tomatoes
Nouns ending [vowel] o patio
ratio
add s patios
ratios
Nouns ending [consonant] y story
penny
change the y to an i and add es stories
pennies
Nouns ending [vowel] y donkey
chimney
add s donkey
chimneys
Nouns ending f or fe dwarf
hoof
ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
dwarfs
hooves or hoofs
Exceptions man
louse
some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change men
lice
More exceptions salmon
sheep
some nouns do not change at all salmon
sheep
Foreign rulings lotus
medium
some nouns adopt foreign rulings loti
media

Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Lotus?

Confusion arises over the plural of lotus because its original plural form (loti) derives from Latin and native English speakers are drawn to lotuses, which adheres to the standard ruling for forming plurals.

Both lotuses and loti are acceptable. Of note, lotuses is the more common plural. (See the evidence in Google's Ngram Viewer.)