Lotus tree

Lotus tree

The lotus tree (Greek lôtos) is a plant that occurs in two stories from Greek mythology:

  • In Homer's Odyssey, the lotus (tree) bore a fruit that caused a pleasant drowsiness and was the only food of an island people called the Lotophagi or Lotus-eaters.
  • In another story, the nymph, Lotis, is turned into a lotus tree.

Botanical candidates for the lotus (tree) are discussed in the Lotophagi article.

The lotus tree is also mentioned in the Bible at Job 40:21-22, verses which refer to a large hippopotamus-like creature referred to as "behemoth". The passage states: "He lies under the lotus trees, In a covert of reeds and marsh. The lotus trees cover him with their shade; The willows by the brook surround him." (NAB)

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