Indo-American Interconnected Overtones: Nucifera and Lutea

I stumbled upon one more connection between India and America last year but it took me a while to note it down here – the divine and royal lotus. Have always fancied lotus since a little girl starting with the golden lotus in “pottramarai kulam” of Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai. Goddess of wealth is supposed to have her residence in lotus, rather the scared lotus. I never knew something like lotus could create a beautiful link until I read about the yellow lotus of America.

Nelumbo nucifera, a perennial aquatic is the national flower of India also known as the “bean of India”. It is native to hot Asian tropics. With roots deep in the muddy soil, lotus shoots up its leaves over the surface area of water on an average of about three feet. Showy leaves and flowers captivate the eyes and is a staple of water gardens. Lotus can live over a thousand years. Lotus being associated with divinity is used in prayers. Different parts of lotus such as stem, rhizome are used in cooking and herbal medicines.

Nelumbo lutea, commonly known as American lotus or yellow lotus is native to North America. The distribution of the species ranges from Minnesota to Florida, Mexico, Honduras, and the Caribbean. It was distributed to the North by Native Americans as a food source. The tribes also treated the American lotus as a sacred plant with mystical powers, and used parts of the plant for medicinal purposes.

Indian Lotus

Indian Lotus

American Lotus

American Lotus

Indian Lotus American Lotus
Kingdom Plantae Plantae
(unranked) Angiosperms Angiosperms
(unranked) Eudicots Eudicots
Order Proteales Proteales
Family Nelumbonaceae Nelumbonaceae
Genus Nelumbo Nelumbo
Species N. nucifera N. lutea

 

One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus is untouched by water. — Bhagavad Gita 5.10

 

Some Inspirations

Some inspirations from Banksy

Boy Baloons
Girl Siblings
Rain

Fall Décor‎

Before –

Before

After –

After

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air. Fall has arrived. Behold the changing leaves, and enjoy the crisp breeze. Let your eyes take in the bursts of color and beware that transformation is afoot and hope is in the air. ~ H. Thompson Barnhart III, P.S. Grandma Says

I Love Fall

Fall

Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
~ Emily Bronte

Are Sunflowers Nerdy?

Sunflowers are one of the species that originated in North America. They were probably one of the first cultivated crops by Native Americans around 1000 B.C.E. Europeans took the sunflowers around the world during 1500 C.E. Otherwise called helianthus, are adored for the bright and cheery disposition, also a food source to bees, squirrels, birds, and humans. They are the great inspiration to the impressionist painters, especially Vincent Van Gogh. Have spent hours staring at Philadelphia Museum of Art. Later bought a stained glass replica from the gift shop. In 2013, read that they are wilting and out of whim painted one.

Sunflowers Painting

Sunflowers Painting

I can never get enough of sunflowers. When this spring arrived, I sowed and it bloomed.

In My Garden

In My Garden

I finally understood why I’m fascinated with sunflowers. Did you know that sunflowers has a perfect geometry based on Fibonacci sequence? Golden Angle in geometry is the smaller of the angle created by sectioning the circumference of the circle according to the golden ratio – that is if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities:

a+b        a
—–   =  —
a            b

This theory plays a significant role in phyllotaxis – the arrangement of leaves on a stem. The most notable golden angle is the angle that separates the florets on a sunflower. They are just as nerdy as I can get.

Rainbow Rain

Rainbow Rain

Rainbow Rain

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…

It’s about learning to Dance in the Rain!

Found the inspiration here

 

Native Gardening and Biodiversity

Biodiversity is not just reserved for national/state parks. Home gardens can enhance the much needed biodiversity in the cities and suburbs. Native plants are indigenous to a given area – developed or occurred naturally in the area and existed along with other life forms in the environment. Starting from European Settlers to every other country in the world has brought different species of plants that are now commonly referred as “exotics” or “ornamentals”. Some of these species may become invasive damaging the local habitat. These plants also do not support the local wildlife from bees, butterflies, caterpillars, to animals high up in food chain. Hence it could possibly undermine biodiversity. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PA states that about 106 are extinct and marked 228 as endangered plants in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Home gardens that have manicured lawns and colorful ornamental shrubs and flowers may look lush and inviting, but they are do not have nutrition for insects and birds. Environmental studies have shown the positive impact of native plants on the biodiversity in suburban landscapes. Advantages of going native gardening is that since they evolved here, it is easy to take care of them once they are established. They easily adopt to local soil, requires less or no fertilizers, less watering, and help with pollination services.

Take charge and plant native. There are several resources to know more. First find the list of plants native to your region and then look out for nurseries that sell nursery propagated native plants. Do not collect the plants from wild as you would disrupt a very delicate ecosystem. We don’t have a big yard but wanted to do our part and got our plants from The Schuylkill Center last Saturday. Here are my favorites:

New York Ironweed

New England Aster

Poppy Mallows

Black-Eyed Susan

Poppy Mallow

Poppy Mallow

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan

New England Aster

New England Aster

New York Ironweed

New York Ironweed

Looking forward for colorful summer and fall this year!