Posted by Flower Spy on Sunday, June 8, 2008
Labels: Sri Lanka/Blue lotus
Known in Sri Lanka as the Nil Mahanel flower or Nympheae Stellata for the latin lovers, this gorgeous blue lotus flower was declared the national flower of Sri Lanka on February 26, 1986. The Nil Mahanel is found in all parts of the country as well as here in the U.S.A. The flower is purplish blue in color. The Nil Mahanel flower is considered a symbol of truth, purity and discipline. It has been a part of Sri Lankan history for centuries-- it is mentioned in many Sinhala, Pali and Sanskrit Literary works. The flower which is also referred to as "Kuvalaya", "Indheewara", "Niluppala", "Nilothpala", and "Nilupul" occupies a pre eminent position in Buddhist literature as well. It is said the "Nil Mahanel Flower" was among the 108 ceremonial designs found on the footprint of Prince Siddhartha-- a pretty impressive portfolio for a flower that grows in swamps and ponds!
It is believed that the damsels depicted in Sigiriya Frescoes also carried this sexy blue blossom in their hands as offerings. Traditional poetry known as "Sandesa Kavya" likened women's eyes to the Nil Mahanel flower which can also be used as an ear ornament. I doubt even the International Flower Spy would attempt that style of floral jewelry, but would consider floating a few in her tub or pond for some fierce exotic ambience.
A very spylicious flower if ever I saw one. And quite sexy too.