Which Country's National Symbol Is a Lotus Flower?

The country whose national symbol is a lotus is India. Specifically, it's the Indian lotus, or Nelumbo nucifera. It is also called the sacred lotus.

In Indian or Hindu mythology, the lotus flower is revered because it produces a beautiful and fragrant flower even as its roots are in turbid waters. The lotus is also one of eight auspicious symbols that correspond to the Buddhist eight-fold path of enlightenment. As its petals unfold in the morning, Buddhists believe that the divine also unfolds within the soul. All of these attributes make the lotus a symbol of purity, enlightenment and resurrection.

The lotus is an aquatic plant that is surprisingly easy to grow and care for. It grows between 3 and 4 feet tall and has a 3 to 4 foot spread. In the United States, it blooms between July and September and needs full sun. The flower is deep pink or white and can be as large as 12 inches in diameter. The lotus opens in the morning and closes at night. Eventually, the flower gives way to a seed pod that's dried and used in flower arrangements. The plant also propagates through its rhizomes, which are a special kind of root. These rhizomes are edible, as are the leaves and the seeds.