EDWARD KINSMAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EDWARD KINSMAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), a member of the lily family, but unusual in that it produces leaves which are held above the water. The flower lasts for only one day, and the seeds may germinate after remaining dormant for many years. It is regarded as sacred in India and China because the Buddha is supposed to have been born in the heart of a lotus flower.
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