An aquatic flowering plant (Nelumbo nucifera). The lotus grows with its roots in the mud underwater, but its flowers float on long stalks above the surface. In Buddhist thought, this pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the mud of attachment and desire, through the waters of experience, into the sunshine of enlightenment. The lotus is one of Buddhism’s most recognizable symbols, and appears in art across all Buddhist cultures.  Web resource here.