Nelumbo nucifera   Gaertn. – Sacred lotus  - Nymphaceae

Sacred to Hindus and Buddhists, the lotus, Nelumbo nucifera, an aquatic perennial, native from south Asia to Australia, is a symbol of divine purity.  Hindu legend tells of Brahma being born from a lotus which sprang from Vishnu’s navel.  The essence of Brahma is believed to be in the plant which symbolizes the idea of divine birth.13

Since 200 B.C. Buddhist monuments have depicted lotuses as pedestals on which sacred beings sit or stand.  The lotus personifies divine birth, the creative force and immortality.  Seeds are commonly used as prayer beads.  Valued as a food the in the Orient, they remain viable in mud for hundreds of years.