The lotus (Nelumbo nucifera
Gaertn.) ranks among the 10 most eminent flowers in China, with its ornamental value primarily attributed to the color diversity of its petals. In general, color formation in plants is largely influenced by anthocyanins. However, few studies have been conducted on the lotus and the molecular mechanisms underlying petal color formation remain incompletely understood. This review focuses on studies related to lotus petal coloration, summarizing advances in our understanding of the pigment constituents, as well as structural and regulatory genes involved in the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway. The primary objective of this review is to provide a reference for further study of the mechanisms governing lotus color formation and propose directions for future lotus breeding.