Nelumbo Nucifera - Sacred Lotus Flower
Nelumbo Nucifera, more commonly known as the Sacred Lotus, is an aquatic perennial plant, originaly native to India, but grown throughout Asia ando ther countries as an ornamental and food plant. Its 'string of sausages' rhizomes are edible, and often found in Asian food markets. Its seeds are also edible, and used in Asian cuisine.
Planted underwater, the large leaves - to around 50 cm in diameter - float on the surface, and the flowers appear on long thick stalks just above the water an are many petaled, pink, and up to 20 cm in diameter.
Seeds can remain viable for hundreds of years, the oldest specimen germinated was over 1200 years old!