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Nelumbo nucifera

No other plant figures so prominently in Asian religions as the Lotus. Both Hindus and Buddhists regard it as a sacred symbol and use it not only in offerings but also in countless art forms. The Lotus is native to Asia and flourishes in a wide range of climates from India to China. Unlike other members of water lily family, its large pink or white petalled flowers and leaf stalks rise above the water, sometimes for a considerable distance. The large, round leaves are covered with a network of microscopic hairs, which keep them dry in a rain. When the flower petals fall, they are replaced by a flat-topped seed pod divided into compartments, resembling a wasp's hive. The tender seeds are munched happily in the north-east India. Infact, the stem is eaten almost in all parts of India, and pickled too. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this flower.

Sacred Lotus, East Indian Lotus

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    কমল, পদ্মা
  • Hindi:
    कमल, पद्म
  • Marathi:
  • Sanskrit:
    सरसिज, शारदा, अम्बुज
  • Tamil:
    செந்தாமரை, அம்பல்
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Nelumbo nucifera

Quick Facts
  • It is the national flower of India as well as a state flower of Haryana and Karnataka.