Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lotus Flowers in Bloom

It has been fascinating watching local lotus fields transition from muddy winter swamps, to spring water gardens, to beautiful summer blooms.

White lotus flower
Pink lotus flower

The "lilipads" that we watched grow all spring were actually lotus, which produces "lotus root" which is used in lots of Asian cooking.  Water lilies are actually a completely different plant, easily distinguished by the seeds in the center of the plants.  (I apologize I could not get a photo above the flowers as the plants were so tall and planted in about a foot of water.)  I also did not know that these plants grew so high out of the water. They are not the surface-floating plants many of us imagine when we think of water gardens.

Here you see how big the plants actually grow...

From the water, they are around 6' tall right now. Here are a few photos of them a month ago...

Very first lotus blooms
Now the plant have taken over the isles making solid green fields of lilipads with scattered blooms. A beautiful marker of summer.

It will be sad to see them go, though we will enjoy the roots in some Japanese meals.

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