Sacred lotus

Summer flowers came and went and I thought: Oh no — That’s it for lovely blossoms till next Spring. Wrong. In September a gorgeous sacred lotus rose out of the waters of Bathesda Fountain in Central Park. And still more gorgeous lotuses bloomed in the double ponds at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Red water lilies

(Top to bottom photos: Sacred lotus and pods. Water lilies and pads in Autumn colors.  Sacred white lotus with experimental background colors. Sacred lotus bud.)

Tall, elegant and beautiful with petals and without, sacred lotuses were the flowers of the gods, decorating tombs and temples in ancient Egypt. And in the dramatic long shadows of Autumn they were the stars of the water ponds, indeed of the whole Brooklyn Botanic garden.

Far more profuse in number, the garden’s shorter water lilies were also more profuse in variety than the rarified lotuses, blooming in colors ranging from palest lavenders to the hottest reds. Gold fish swam among them.

White sacred lotus

Sacred lotus bud

The end of October sees the last of the water lilies. But that’s okay. Two weeks ago I finally explored the garden’s indoor conservatory and discovered not only a whole different species of water lily but one that was surrounded by gigantic green pods up to four feet wide. So the flower fun goes on…


More on the Flower Front: