A lotus and a lily....

August 12, 2008

I find, very often, that people get a lotus mixed up with a lily, so I am making this post to illustrate the difference…

This…is a lily:

Lily at Lalbagh 7 Feb 07

And this…is a lotus:

lotus mysore hight 070608 c and g

Here are the typical lotus buds and leaves:

lotus buds blr mys hight 070608 c and g

The lotus also can be white; these are rarer to find:

blooming white lotus

Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning is supposed to be sitting on a white lotus. (even though, in the picture by Raja Ravi Varma in that wiki link, she is depicted sitting on a rock!)

Lilies (not the water lilies, but the “land” flowers…remember the phrase, white as a lily?) are generally associated with being white, and that’s why, I think, pink lilies are confused with the lotus. But the shape differentiates them from lotuses:

white lily namada chilume ddurga  080608

lilies and their reflections

But lilies can be this beautiful mauve, too….

lilies in lake kodai

lily in the evening kodai 240508

The more pointed petals, the more angular shape of the flower, distinguishes lilies from lotuses. The leaves are different, too; lily leaves have the characteristic “slice” out of the circumference of the leaf. Lotus leaves are more fleshy-looking too.

OK, Mr SS, I guess THAT answers your question….