Sacred lotus

Fresh Pick

Farmer Blue is a 12-acre, cut-flower farm in Seabrook. Its owner is working hard to build a better bouquet with local flowers. The farm grows over 300 varieties of annuals and perennials for florists and event planners in the Lowcountry. Here is owner David Blue’s favorite flower for September:

Nelumbo nucifera, commonly known as the sacred lotus, often mistaken for water lilies, stands out as a remarkable aquatic plant. However, lotuses possess distinct qualities that make them even more valuable. A truly versatile plant, all parts of it are edible and find their way into diverse culinary preparations, such as salads, teas, pickled dishes, stir-fries, and even raw consumption. Moreover, lotuses have made their mark in herbalist applications, adding to their significance.

Delving into its history, the lotus emerges as one of the most ancient flowering plants, with astonishing fossil records dating back a staggering 100 million years. Originating in various regions of Asia, the lotus holds unique symbolic meaning across multiple cultures, yet the underlying themes remain consistently rooted in spiritual enlightenment and purity.

Anchoring ourselves in Ancient Egypt, we find the lotus taking on the role of a powerful symbol, representing rebirth and regeneration. Its lifecycle, where it blooms at dawn and closes at dusk only to bloom again the following day, closely mirrors the pattern of the sun. This natural cycle made the lotus a profound metaphor for the concepts of birth, death and the potential for rebirth.

In essence, the sacred lotus, Nelumbo nucifera, not only captivates with its beauty and grace but also nourishes both body and soul through its culinary and symbolic significance, weaving a timeless tale that spans millions of years and numerous cultures.

The sacred lotus boasts an array of practical and cultural applications. From a culinary standpoint, all parts of the plant are edible. Additionally, the flower has found its way into herbalist practices, offering potential health benefits. Beyond its gastronomic value, the lotus holds profound symbolic meaning, representing spiritual enlightenment and purity in various cultures throughout history.

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