ZHOU DUNYI: "I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained."
PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: This is the Sacred Lotus or Bean of India, worshipped among Hindus as a thing of purity. It does indeed strike the eye as something divine. Most people would know it immediately by the iconic, flat-topped seed cup, like a watering can, that is left after the petals fall away. Lotus roots in the pond bottom and spreads broad, round pads on the surface of the water while sending a stem 3 to 5 feet into the air where it produces a large bud that blossoms hugely and gets tossed by the wind in shades of pink and white.
The Sacred Bean of India Lotus is not to be confused with the Egyptian Sacred Blue Lily which is sometimes called the Blue Lotus.
From Wiki I learn that the Sacred Lotus of India can regulate the temperature of the flower as warm-blooded animals do. That distinction places it in the rare plant company of Philodendron and Skunk Cabbage. Certainly no water lily can do that. It is not yet known if it can read minds, but all parts of the plant are entirely edible.