The lotus flower has long been an important symbol in the Buddhist tradition, signifying progress of the soul, purity and loveliness. Lotus flowers are very complex, aquatic blooms that grow from rhizomes under the water.
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The lotus flower comes in many colors, from white to pink and yellow. The flower bud emerges from the water on the end of the rhizome, covered at first with green, waterproof leaves. When the flower blooms, these leaves open up.
Once the flower is open, it breathes through stomata found on the upper sides of its leaves. Most plants produce stomata on the lower side of their leaves, but the lotus produces them on the side exposed to the air.
Like all flowers, the lotus contains stigmas in the middle, parts of the female reproductive organ known as the pistil. Near the base of the petals are the stamen, the male, pollen-producing organs. The stamens contain filaments topped with sac-like anthers, ready for insects and the wind to disperse them.