Macao and the Nobly, Elegant Lotus

National/State Flower Series – East Asia 7 – Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China – Nelumbo Nucifera


“Nelumbo nucifera, known by a number of names including Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, or simply lotus, is one of two species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae. ……… This plant is an aquatic perennial. Under favorable circumstances its seeds may remain viable for many years, with the oldest recorded lotus germination being from that of seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lakebed in North Eastern China. (Source:”

Nelumbo Nucifera is  the “state flower” for Macao Special Administrative Regions of People’s Republic of China. Beside Macao, India and Vietnam are also using this flower as national flower. But that should not be confused with Bangladesh’s national flower, water lily (睡莲)which belong to the family of Nymphaea.

Species Information

Scientific name:

Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn

Family: Nelumbonaceae
Common name(s): Lotus
Chinese name: 古莲,莲花,荷花, 芙蓉

Lotus is a perennial aquatic plants with a long history and apparently is a leader in the midsummer seasonal flowers. In the heat of summer waves, pools were full of green lotus leaves that waved slowly and its flowers were emitting a fragrance resembling fragrance from the bathing beauties. Hence, In Chinese,  lotus were also called “gentlemen flowers 花中君子” or “flowers of beautiful ladies 花中美人”

  Pic courtesy of

Macau and lotus

  • A dike north of Macau which connects to Zhua Hai and Lianfeng San was said to look like a lotus stem. Therefore, in ancient times, Macau was described as a lotus that floats in the open sea and at times being called a lotus island. Due to its unique shapes, Macao people believed that Macau was the reincarnation of a lotus flower and called Macau as the land of the treasure lotus (“莲花宝地“)。
  • Macao people loves lotus as they believed that lotus symbolizes good fortune, peace and holiness. Macau’s literature, myths, proverbs, dramas and couplets etc. often uses lotus as an avenue to express their feelings. Macao peoples daily lives, thoughts and feelings are closely associated with lotus and a bond have been established. People generally planted lotus as a hobby. There are many cultures that have elements of lotus such as lotus wordings in their door couplets.
  • Macau’s also has a lot of streets, villages and buildings that have the name associated with lotus, such as Lotus Hill(莲花山), Lin Fong Temple (莲峰庙), Lotus Stream Temple (莲溪庙), Lotus Bridge (莲花大桥), and so on.

Macao Lotus Bridge stamp(Pic Courtesy:

  • Lotus Bridge  is Macao’s third bridge with a  length of 1.3 km connecting the islands of Taipa Macau and Zhuhai Hengqin Bridge. The bridge greatly facilitated people entering to Macau International Airport and Ka Ho Container Port and Oil Terminal from mainland China. This had brought  prosperity and developments to Macao  as a whole.
  • Lotus is also the official flower emblem of Macao and appeared in Macao’s flags. It is also a common item in Macao’s stamps and currency.


File:Macau SAR Regional Emblem.svg

  • The Lotus Square or Golden Lotus Square (Chinese: 金蓮花廣場; Portuguese: A Praça Flor de Lodão) is an open area of Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. The area features the large bronze sculpture Lotus Flower In Full Bloom (Chinese: 盛世蓮花) and is somewhat akin to the Golden Bauhinia of neighboring Hong Kong.  (PLEASE REFER HONG KONG’S STATE FLOWER HERE). The lotus flower in full bloom symbolizes the everlasting prosperity of Macau. The sculpture was presented by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China in 1999 to mark the Macau sovereignty transfer from Portugal to the PRC. (Source:

Finally, I have finished my national flowers for East Asia and a summary will be compiled for your reference soon. Hope you enjoy the post.


Thank for reading.


The Beautiful Hong Kong Orchid Trees …..

National Flower Series – East Asia 6 – Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China – Bauhinia Blakeana


Bauhinia blakeana or Hong Kong Orchid Tree is an orchid tree of the genus Bauhinia with large thick leaves and striking purplish red flowers. It is a native species discovered in Hong Kong was chosen as the logo of the Urban Council in 1965, it was later incorporated in the flag and emblem of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China after the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China. (Source:

Species Information

Scientific name: Bauhinia blakeana
Family: Leguminosae
Common name(s): Hong Kong Orchid-Tree, Hong Kong Bauhinia, Butterfly Tree
Chinese name: 红花羊蹄甲 洋艳紫荊, 香港兰

Bauhinia Blakeana is a garden legume which is a close relative to garden peas and can grow until 20 to 40 feet in height. The leaves are large twin lobes, with grayish green color and can be as large as 6 to 8 inch in diameter.


The large, orchid-like flowers are rich magenta purple with paler veins, and the uppermost petal is darker towards the base.


The Hong Kong orchid tree is now widely planted as an ornamental within the Special Administrative Regions and many other tropical countries. Flowering seasons usually begins around December and closes in March each year.

A distinct species or A cultivar……?

Though the flower has been Hong Kong’s emblem since 1965, however, there are still debates if the trees is a true species by its own or a hybrid between Bauhinia Purpurea or Bauhinia Variegata.  In in the American Journal of Botany article published in November 2004, “Hybrid origin of “Bauhinia blakeana” (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae), inferred using morphological, reproductive, and molecular data” , it was written :

“…………..It is therefore evident that although B. blakeana is a hybrid that has resulted from a cross (probably natural) between B. purpurea and B. Variegate, it has only been perpetuated genetically by artificial horticultural practices: it is not capable of reproducing itself independently. It is therefore inappropriate to regard it as a distinct species and is better referred to as an artificially maintained cultivar. A new cultivar name is accordingly formally published here, replacing the previous specific binomial published by Dunn (1908):  Bauhinia purpurea × variegata ‘Blakeana’, cv. nov. “ (Source:

However, it was written in Wikipedia that:

“….A 2008 research was able to identify the female parent as Bauhinia purpurea, but it could not differentiate the male parent as Bauhinia variegata var. variegata or Bauhinia variegata var. candida. This is not unexpected, as Bauhinia variegata var. Candida is a white-flowered form of Bauhinia variegata var. variegata, and not a separate specie or sub-specie. Interestingly, the 2005 research suggested Bauhinia blakeana is genetically closer to Bauhinia variegata, while the 2008 research indicated it is closer to Bauhinia purpurea instead.”

Bauhinia purpurea Bauhinia variegata var. candida



Bauhinia Blakeana is very similar to Bauhinia Purpurea. One way of differentiating them is the number of stigmas/ Bauhinia Blakeana have 5-6 stamens whereas Bauhinia Purpurea have 3-4 stamens.

Another distinct differentiation is Bauhinia Blakeana can only be perpetuated by horticultural practices (e.g. Grafting) and seed pods are seldom noted. Whereas in Bauhinia Purpurea, being a parent plant, long seedpods are always being produced for future reproductions. In the above Bauhinia purpurea picture, take note of a brownish seed pod next to the flower.


Hong Kong and Bauhinia Blakeana

  • Hong Kong people call the leaf “clever leaf” (聰明葉/聪明叶), and regard it as a symbol of cleverness. Some people use the leaves to make bookmarks in the hope that the bookmarks will bring them good luck in their studies.
  • It is the official flower emblem of Hong Kong and appeared in Hong Kong’s state flag. Besides, it also appeared in coins, stamps of Hong Kong.

  • In North Wan Chai, outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, there is an open area with a 6 meter high giant statute of a golden Bauhinia Blakeana. This area is called The Golden Bauhinia Square (Chinese: 金紫荊廣場) and it is the place where the ceremonies for the handover of Hong Kong and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was held in July 1997. The major part is composed of a bauhinia on a base of red grantite pillar on a pyramid. It became a tourist attraction and a flag-raising ceremony is held every day at 8:00am.


Additional Notes:

  • The Genus “Bauhinia” is named after the 16th Swiss botanists and brothers, John and Caspar Bauhin and the twin lobe leaves were said to represent the two brothers.
  • Bauhinia Blakeana blooms can be used as cut flowers and in flower arrangements.


Theoretically, I have already finished the East Asia series of National Flowers after my post on Taiwan’s national flowers here, but I have decided to include two Special Administrative Regions of People’s Republic of China namely Hong Kong and Macau. Too bad, Mongolia does not have national flowers.

Rest be assured that this series (national flower series) will be continued and I am aiming to complete the series in one years’ time.

Thank for reading.


National Flower Series–Southern Europe 1– Kingdom of Spain – Dianthus Caryophyllus (Carnation)


Carnation is Spain’s national flower (or clavel in Spanish or 康乃馨 in Chinese) and widely grown in the Aragon region of Spain. Also called Dianthus Caryophyllus , carnation is a favorite flower of choice and revered for centuries. It’s Latin Name basically translated into flower of god or love. Carnation in Spain is very much influenced by South Spain or Andalusia’s Spanish folklore and commonly associated to distinction, love and fascination.

Spieces information

  • Scientific name:         Dianthus Caryophyllus 
  • Family:                              Caryophyllaceae
  • Common name:          Carnation, clavel (in Spanish), 康乃馨(in Chinese)

In Spain, carnation is associated with a symbol of affection between lovers and  a religious symbol related to Jesus’s passion representing Crown of Thorns. It is also  related to the seedy side of Spain like gipsy’s lapels  thrown into the bullring ruedos.        

Clavel Sevillano

Spieces information

  • Scientific name:         Dianthus Caryophyllus 
  • Family:                           Caryophyllaceae
  • Common name:         Carnation, clavel (in Spanish), 康乃馨(in Chinese)

Carnation is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80 cm tall. The leaves are glaucous greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm long. The flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme; they are 3–5 cm diameter, and sweetly scented; the original natural flower color is bright pinkish-purple, but cultivars of other colors, including red, white, yellow and green, have been developed. (Source:



Additional notes:

Carnations are traditionally flowers used to express feelings since olden days. Like roses, colors of carnations carry different meanings and it is wise to find out the meanings for each color before you present the flower to them. In addition, different colors  are used for different occasion. The following table summarizes the common colors, its meanings and occasions to wear them.



Occasions to wear

Light red Admiration  
Red Symbol of love; symbol of Portuguese Carnation Revolution; symbol of socialism and labor movements Wear on Mother’s day if mother is alive, Parents day for Korea; May day as a symbol of socialism and labor movement for Austria, Italy and former Yugoslavia ; Final examination of University of Oxford
Dark red Symbolic of deep love or admiration, depending on the depth of the red  
White Purity and luck Wear on Mother’s day is mother is dead; 1st examination of University of Oxford;
Pink Sign of gratitude, symbolizes mother’s love MOTHERS DAY, weddings, Parent’s day for Korea;
Examinations between first and final examination of University of Oxford
Purple Indicates capriciousness, In France, a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.  
Striped Regret or refusal  
Yellow Dejection  
Green Symbol of homosexuality in the early 20th century St Patrick’s day;

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy reading.


I have yet to complete my National Flower Series – East Asia. As tomorrow is Mother’s day, I thought it would be nice to put up something on carnation and therefore, I have written this post about the national flower of Spain.   The series on East Asia will resume in my next post on National Flower Series.

National Flower Series–East Asia 5–Taiwan Republic of China– Prunus Mume



梅花 (Plum Blossom)

梅花梅花滿天下 愈冷它愈開花

 梅花堅忍象徵我們 巍巍的大中華

看啊遍地開了梅花 有土地就有它

 冰雪風雨它都不怕 它是我的國花

看啊遍地開了梅花 有土地就有它

 冰雪風雨它都不怕 它是我的國花

梅花梅花滿天下 愈冷它愈開花

 梅花堅忍象徵我們 巍巍的大中華

梅花 唱:劉家昌 詞:劉家昌 曲:劉家昌


Most Chinese  will not be unfamiliar with the above patriotic song which was written for the Taiwanese film “Victory” (梅花) (1976) by its director Liu Chia Chang (劉家昌) and that basically summed up the characteristics of Prunus Mume and the importance of this flower in Taiwan. If you are do not understand Chinese language, you may want to refer here for its Chinese Pronunciations and English translations.

General information

Plum blossom is highly appreciated and admired for its early (January to March in central and southern China) blossoms, Prunus mume has enjoyed great popularity in China and Japan for centuries. It is popular as a bonsai and a ‘must’ in every Japanese-style garden. The world famous Kairaku-en garden in Japan, for example, boasts 3,000 specimens including 100 different cultivars, which create a feast for the eye during the ‘plum blossom’ season in late February/early March. Due to its long history of cultivation and cultural significance, there are more than 300 known cultivars in China, which differ mainly in the color of their flowers (which can be white, pink, red, purple or light green).

National Symbol

The plum blossom, Prunus mei, was officially designated by the ROC Executive Yuan (legislative council) to be the national flower on July 21, 1964. The plum blossom, which has shades of pink and white and gives off a delicate fragrance, has great symbolic value for the Chinese people because of its resilience during the harsh winter. (Source:

The triple grouping of stamens (one long and two short) represents Sun Yat-sen’s Three Principles of the People (namely nationalism, democracy and socialism (民族主義, 民權主義 and 民生主義)), while the five petals symbolize the five branches of the ROC government.  (Source: Taiwan President’s Office’s website) namely Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Examination Yuan and Control Yuan.


Species information

  • Scientific name                    : Prunus mume Siebold
  • Common name(s)                 : mume, ume, mei flower, Chinese plum, Japanese apricot.
  • Chinese name                      : 梅

Additional notes

  • Plum blossom tree is related to both the plum and apricot trees. Although generally referred to as a plum in English, it is more closely related to the apricot.
  • The fruit ripens in early summer, around June and July in East Asia, and coincides with the rainy season of East Asia, the “meiyu“ (梅雨季节, literally “plum rain”). Those who live in East Asia will knew that during this season, the whole area will become very damp and mold will appear in household items from kitchen condiments to leather jackets etc..

  • The fruit of the tree is used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cooking in juices, as a flavoring for alcohol, as a pickle and in sauces. It is also used in traditional medicine. 
  • Ume vinegar is a traditional digestive aid produced from Prunus Mume. Its sour and salty taste stimulates the production of saliva and stomach acids, which in turn help the body to break down and assimilate the nutrients in the food. Try it as a condiment on soups, stews, vegetable and grain dishes to absorb more nutrition and eliminate indigestion. You can read further: here.
  • Plum blossom is a flower not only important in Taiwan ROC but also have a huge cultural impact on Japanese and other Chinese communities. In fact, it is also another prime candidate considered for the national flower of People’s Republic of China. You can read my earlier post: National Flower of People’s Republic of China where the peony is deemed to be the unofficial national flower.
  • In Chinese, plum blossom it is one of the flower representatives associated with the four seasons namely orchid for spring (春蘭)、bamboo for summer(夏竹)、chrysanthemum for autumn (秋菊)、plum blossom for winter(冬梅).
  • The combination for these four flowers, collectively called “four flowers gentlemen”, also a Chinese painting favorite, denotes four characters that a gentleman should possess. Plum blossom signifies ability to withstand hardship as it blooms in the cold winter: orchids symbolize modesty, beauty, joy and purity; chrysanthemum reminds us that it is possible to triumph when the going gets tough and to be brave when faced with adversity and lastly bamboo represents upright and continual growth (梅寒盛放,蘭花清秀,菊花淡香、竹子節節上升).

Picture from:

  • Lastly, ever wonder what is the difference between plum blossoms as in this post and the cherry blossoms which is famous in Japan? Well, they looked very similar and most people can’t tell and I have found one article which state the differences as follows:
  Plum Blossoms (梅花) Cherry Blossoms(樱花)
Flower Plum blossoms don’t have any split at the end of the petals. Cherry blossoms have a small split at the end of each petals.
Bark The bark on a plum tree is darker and does not have distinctive horizontal line on it. The bark of the cherry tree often have small horizontal lines on it.
Flower Bud There is only one plum blossom coming out of the bud. More than one cherry will come out of a cherry bud.
Leaves Plum blossoms have small purple leaves that are unrolling although some species do have leaves that are green The leaves of cherry trees are green and unfolding.

You can refer to this website if you are interested to have a visual differentiations between plum and cherry blossoms. How about taking up another challenges to differentiate these two blossoms with the third blossom, i.e. peach blossoms (桃花)?

Hope you enjoy the post. Cheers

National Flower Series – East Asia 2 – China (Mudan) – A little bit more


Paeonia suffruticosa (tree peony) is native to China, where it is known as Mudan.

In front of the Audience Hall of Mu Tsung Huang Ti … there were planted thousand-petalled tree-peonies. When the flowers first opened the fragrance of their perfume was perceived by everyone. Each blossom had a thousand petals, large and deeply red. Every time His Majesty gazed upon the sweet-scented luxuriance he would sigh and say, ‘Surely such a flower has never before existed among men!’ (Ninth-Century Chinese Writer)

Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 6: Biology and Biological Technology, Part 1, Botany, by Joseph Needham (Cambridge University Press 1986).

The tree peony is not actually a “tree” but more of a woody-shrub preferring some shade from harsh afternoon noon. The woody stalks produce the next season’s flowers and should be left in tact throughout the winter (unlike herbaceous peonies which die to the ground each season). They are very slow to establish, but well worth the wait. Huge blooms appear in mid-spring (before herbaceous peonies) and the flowers are surrounded by lovely fern-like foliage with a reddish tinge.

Writing about national flower China, I found this post that I have read a while ago is now a suitable time to re-blog this. Very knowledgeable writer.

National Flower Series – East Asia 2- China (Mudan) – Unofficial

National Flower Series – East Asia 2 – People’s Republic of China – UNOFFICIAL

Although People’s Republic of China has not officially declared a national flower, everyone in China knows that the Republic’s unofficial national flower is peony (Paeonia Suffruticosa) also called 牡丹 (mǔdān) or 富贵花 (fùguìhuā) “flower of riches and honour”, 花王 (huawang) “king of the flowers”, and is used symbolically in Chinese art and is considered as a symbol of prosperity.

The Qing Dynasty adopted Poeny as the national flower for China. However, over the past 20 years, numerous attempts have been made to select a national flower. The two front-runners are the peony and Chinese plum blossom. Some people believe China is too large and diverse to be represented by just one flower. The idea of a dual national flower (including both the peony and plum blossom) is growing in popularity. Another suggestion proposes having a different flower to represent each season. In 1994, a panel from the Chinese Flower Association recommended the peony as the national flower, along with these seasonal flowers: orchid (spring), lotus (summer), chrysanthemum (autumn) and plum (winter). This, however, was not ratify by the National People’s Congress. In 2003, another selection process had begun but until to date, no decision had been made.

The ancient Chinese city Luoyang has a reputation as a cultivation centre for the peonies. Throughout Chinese history, peonies in Luoyang have been said to be the finest in the country. Dozens of peony exhibitions and shows are still held there annually.

Paeonia (peony or paeony) is a genus of flowering plants, the only genus in the family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, Southern Europe and Western North America. Boundaries between species are not clear and estimates of the number of species range from 25 to 40.

Most are herbaceous perennial plants 0.5 to 1.5 metres (1.5 to 5 feet) tall, but some resemble trees 1.5–3 m (5–10 ft) tall. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves and large, often fragrant, flowers, ranging from red to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer.

National Flower Series–East Asia 1–Japan–Chrysanthemum


National Flower Series – East Asia 1 – Japan (De-facto or non-official)

Japan do not have officially declared national flowers like other countries. However, two flowers that have significant influences in Japanese cultures and histories : Chrysanthemum (菊花) and Cherry Blossom (樱花) were deemed to be the de-facto national flowers.


Chrysanthemums, often called mums or chrysanths, are perennial flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae which are native to Asia and northeastern Europe.Chrysanthemum are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 50–150 cm tall, with deeply lobed leaves with large flower heads that are generally white, yellow or pink in the wild.

Chrysanthemum had a deep rooted relationship with the royal family as evidenced by the following observations. It is believed that chrysanthemum may have been brought to Japan in the eighth century AD and the Emperor adopted a 16 petals yellow chrysanthemum flower design as his imperial seal (菊花印章) which shall solely be used by the members of the Japanese Imperial family. The Emperor also have chosen to name “Chrysanthemum Throne” to represent the periods reigned by Japanese emperors. A number of formerly state-endowed shrines (官国弊社), kankokuheisha) adopted chrysanthemum in its crest, most notably Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine. In addition, the Japanese honor awarded by the emperor were named as the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum.In Imperial Japan, small arms were required to be stamped with the Imperial Chrysanthemum, as they were considered the personal property of the Emperor.

Cherry Blossom (Sakura)

A cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese Cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is sometimes called sakura after the Japanese (桜 or 櫻; さくら). Many of the varieties that have been cultivated for ornamental use do not produce fruit. Edible cherries generally come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus.

In Japan, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect. There is at least one popular folk song, originally meant for the shakuhachi (bamboo flute), titled “Sakura”, and several pop songs. The flower is also represented on all manner of consumer goods in Japan, including kimono, stationery, and dishware.

The Sakurakai or Cherry Blossom Society was the name chosen by young officers within theImperial Japanese Army in September 1930 for their secret society established with the goal of reorganizing the state along totalitarian militaristic lines, via a military coup d’état if necessary.

During World War II, the cherry blossom was used to motivate the Japanese people, to stoke nationalism and militarism among the populace. Even prior to the war, they were used in propaganda to inspire “Japanese spirit,” as in the “Song of Young Japan,” exulting in “warriors” who were “ready like the myriad cherry blossoms to scatter.” A cherry blossom painted on the side of the bomber symbolized the intensity and ephemerality of life;in this way, the aesthetic association was altered such that falling cherry petals came to represent the sacrifice of youth in suicide missions to honor the emperor.The first kamikaze unit had a subunit called Yamazakura or wild cherry blossom.The government even encouraged the people to believe that the souls of downed warriors were reincarnated in the blossoms.

In its colonial enterprises, imperial Japan often planted cherry trees as a means of “claiming occupied territory as Japanese space”.; http://en.wikipedia

It is such a coincidence that the two countries (Japan and China) I have selected to kick off the EAST ASIAN COUNTRIES NATIONAL FLOWER SERIES do not have officially declared national flowers. However, its is still included as part of the National Flower Series because of their significant influences in these countries’ culture; that particular species’ origins; uniqueness to the countries; likability and perception by the people that rendered their de-facto status.

Fungi and Mushrooms I found in Singapore

Fungi or mushroom series – I take a stroll in Bedok Reservoir Park prior to my weekly marketing at a supermarket next to the reservoir. I am extremely delighted to find many species of mushroom thriving in the damp and moist areas during my half an hour stroll. Just unsure if these mushrooms are edible. However, it resemble the mushrooms that were sold in the supermarket! Do I still need to visit the fresh vegetable section in the supermarket??? Nature is wonderful and most is not appealing to the urban dwellers.🍄Weather is ⛅☔last few days, and I presumed that stimulated the growth of these mushrooms. Just posted by a simple ordinary man walking in the street. (at Bedok Reservoir Park)

National Flower Series – South East Asia 8- Vietnam

National Flower Series – Socialists Republic of Vietnam (Nelumbo Nucifera)
Pink Nelumbo nucifera or lotus (莲花、荷花,古称芙蓉) is the national flower Socialists Republic of Vietnam. It should be noted that though Sri Lanka and India also declared lotus as the national flowers, but Vietnam specifically choses pink lotus as its national flower.

Nelumbo nucifera, known by a number of names including Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, or simply lotus, is one of two species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae. This plant is an aquatic perennial. Under favorable circumstances its seeds may remain viable for many years, with the oldest recorded lotus germination being from that of seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lake bed in northeastern China. A common misconception is referring to the lotus as a water lily (Nymphaea) or 睡蓮 is an entirely different plant, as can be seen in the center of the flowers, which lack the structure that goes on to form the distinctive circular seed pod in the Nelumbo nucifera.

The Vietnamese Government disclosed that lotus was chosen as the national flower of Vietnam because it has origin from Vietnam and has been grown in most parts of the country for a long time to embody both cultural identity and national spirit. Lotus also has a pleasant fragrance and made appearance in many traditional literatures, cultural and architectural works of Vietnam. In Vietnam, lotus represents the noble mind and pure spirit of Vietnamese and is the best symbol to characterize Vietnam. Vietnam Airlines, the national airline has adopted lotus as its airline symbol.

As lotuses live near the mud but they still have a dainty beautiful flower coupled with a pleasant smell, as such, some people thinks that this best describe theVietnamese people – though faced with many hardship, Vietnamese people still maintain their purities and beauties inside their souls. Note: In Chinese literature, lotuses were also being appreciated for its ability to produce beautiful flowers in a less than desirable living environment. (周敦颐的《爱莲说》写到“予独爱莲之出淤泥而不染,濯清涟而不妖,中通外直,不蔓不枝;香远益清,亭亭净植;可远观而不可亵玩焉”)

Source: adapted from,