Blue Lotus, more commonly known as the Egyptian Lotus, is a rare
sky-blue flower that was cultivated by the Egyptians as early as 1400 B.C.
Commonly found in waters off the shores of lakes and rivers, it is often
identified by an odd daily ritual.
Each morning its sky-blue aromatic flowers rise above the surface of the water
to bloom. After sunset, it folds its' petals and again sinks below the surface.
Despite its use in traditional medicine for more than one thousand years, it was
not until an event in 1922 that its popularity gained new ground in western
It was in Egypt, during this year, that the tomb of Tutankhamen (1336 - 1327
B.C.) was opened. Scattered over Tutankhamen's body in deliberate patterns were
petals from the Egyptian Lotus. This discovery served as the impetus for new
studies and research.
Nymphaea Caerulea (Blue
Lotus) is also highly respected and by Indians and in
The resulting evaluations of the flower in ancient Egyptian art and history shed
new light on the role of the flower in ancient Egyptian society. Many arrived at
the conclusion that it was used as more than a divine symbol and cultural icon.
It is now a widely held belief that the Egyptians used the flower as an additive
for food, wine, and other drinks.Its original habitat may have been along the
Nile and other locations in East Africa. It spread to other locations, however,
already in ancient times, like the Indian Subcontinent and Thailand.
The leaves are broadly rounded, 25–40 cm across, with a notch at the leaf
stem. The flowers are 10–15 cm diameter. Reports in the literature by persons
unfamiliar with its actual growth and blooming cycle have suggested that the
flowers open in the morning, rising to the surface of the water, then close and
sink at dusk. In fact, the flower buds rise to the surface over
a period of two to three days, and when ready, open at approximately 9-9:30am
and close about 3pm. The flowers and buds do not rise above the water in the
morning, nor do they submerge at night. The flowers have pale bluish-white to
sky-blue or mauve petals, smoothly changing to a pale yellow in the centre of
It was considered extremely significant in Egyptian mythology, since it was said
to rise and fall with the sun. Consequently, due to its colorings, it was
identified, in some beliefs, as having been the original container, in a similar
manner to an egg, of Atum, and in similar beliefs Ra, both solar deities. As
such, its properties form the origin of the lotus variant of the Ogdoad
cosmogeny. It was the symbol of the Egyptian deity Nefertem