15 May2007

Lotus Blooms

by Marketman


The morning after the serious merienda, followed by the Surf, Turf and Sky Meal a la Marketman, we had yet another huge meal for breakfast and after that we lot2just had to take a walk around the property or physically explode. The home that we were visiting that weekend has one of the best private gardens in the Philippines that I have had the privilege to see/experience, with seemingly endless vistas, centuries old trees and masses of plants everywhere. One of the types of plants the homeowner is extremely proud of are these lotus plants. I don’t know much about them except that they grow in water, the blooms have some fantastic transformations and they come in many different varieties. In fact, on a trip to Bangkok a few years ago, together with the friends whose family own this weekend home, we came across some rather unusual lotus plants at a market and they decided to take some home for their mom. After we purchased several plants and snuck them back to the hotel, the question was how to keep them happy until we flew back to Manila!


The solution? Stick them in the TUB of this rather posh, five star hotel overnight until the flight home! Let’s just say I think the roomboy was justly compensated for keeping this quiet… heehee, I have done equally outrageous things I suppose… but the plants made lotus4it back to Manila and in fact have thrived and been propagated into dozens and dozens of lotuses… I am not sure if the flowers in these photos are the progeny of the lotuses that came back with us on that trip to Bangkok, but I wrote this post because it is the first time that I have photos of a lotus flower in all the various stages of development… and I personally find it tremendously fascinating. Visually it is such a graceful flower, first reserved, tight and strong. Then it opens up into a RIOT of a bloom, so lush, so intense so in your face, almost more flamboyant than a peony at full bloom. Then you get the unusually shaped seed pod that is sometimes used in floral arrangements but which also houses the precious seeds from which even more lotuses shall emerge. Ah, if only I had a green thumb… also, I was a bit concerned about breeding mosquitos in the water at the base of the plants… but truly, these were beautiful flowers!




  1. consol says:

    Wow, they are indeed beautiful! I have never ever seen lotus blooms in all these stages before. Thank you for sharing your photos. AND for introducing another ‘Marketmanism”: using ‘in your face’ when describing a flower.

    May 15, 2007 | 7:41 am


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  3. asunta says:

    MM, how did you sneak her in? I wanted to bring in some before but was so praning. is there anyone propagating them aside from you that will sell in rp?

    May 15, 2007 | 7:47 am

  4. bernadette says:

    I also have had quite an experience going to Lake Sebu in Mindanao. They have a profusion of lotus plants growing there! It was such a sight seeing a lot of them open sabay-sabay in the early morning! Extremely ethereal! Sayang! I didn’t have the guts to ask for a plantlet for now I’m yearning for one to put in our pond! I also have tasted lotus pods/seeds as presented to us by our hosts in Cotabato when we were feted to a Mindanao cuisine-party. The pods tasted bland to me though, but chewy.

    May 15, 2007 | 8:25 am

  5. Ed says:

    Is there a Tagalog (or any other Philippine language) word for lotus?

    May 15, 2007 | 8:49 am

  6. wil-b cariaga says:

    ooooh. . .so that is where the dried beehive like things come from. . . nice

    May 15, 2007 | 10:07 am

  7. Apicio says:

    In Tagalog none off hand but if we have, it would be very likely included in a compilation of Filipino words derived from Sanskrit such as the monograph of Jose Kuizon. Our sampaguita is derived from the Sanskrit champaca (grafted with the Spanish dimunitive) and so is Coronaria, commonly known as Camia but referred to by Claro M. Recto in one of his poems by its Indian name, Gandahsuli.

    May 15, 2007 | 10:34 am

  8. mila says:

    Have you had a chance to eat lotus seeds or lotus root MM? In chinese cooking the flavor is a bland, but the seeds are popular in soups, and the root is commonly stir fried or used in soups, or used chilled. I was also told that some of the steamed rice dishes are wrapped in lotus leaves, although I can’t recall if they add flavor.

    I like the flower best just before it starts to unwrap, it’s also a lot easier to paint when it’s still unfurled. The seed pod is like some alien being about to take over the universe!

    May 15, 2007 | 10:40 am

  9. meekerz says:

    There’s a Chinese appetizer dish that uses lotus root (i think). No idea how it’s cooked, but it ends up chewy, topped with sugar or something sweet. Very yum.

    May 15, 2007 | 1:42 pm

  10. tulip says:

    There is a Tagalog name for Lotus. There are numerous provinces where you can get them and yes definitely abundant in Mindanao. I’ve seen plenty while I was studying Botany. Lotus in Tagalog is “BAINO”.
    I think you had a previous post on lotus root. It used to be a staple food in our home until I think we had too much of it and the seeds, haven’t eaten any for 10 years or so.

    May 15, 2007 | 2:48 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Yes, I did have a previous post on lotus root, it has a fascinating pattern to it, but not mch flavor…and yes, the leaves are used to wrap both rice and chicken before cooking… Thanks, Tulip for the local name…

    May 15, 2007 | 8:28 pm

  12. Apicio says:

    Another delightful discovery at Manila Market. Tulip, any idea what Tagalog region it is from? This is as good as when I discovered there is a Tagalog word for basil.

    MM, no flavour but intriguing texture, crunchy gooey and filigree-like pattern. Probably just used for its visual and tactile appeal.

    May 15, 2007 | 8:36 pm

  13. tulip says:

    Apicio, I’m not so sure of the origin but most probably from Northern Tagalog. I think Ilocanos also have another name for it but I can’t remember.

    May 15, 2007 | 11:50 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    Apicio and tulip, check out this link

    May 16, 2007 | 5:59 am

  15. VERONICA says:


    Oct 23, 2007 | 7:57 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    There is this post in the archives. Lotus root is sometimes available at wet markets, particularly from vendors carrying food products for chinese dishes.

    Oct 23, 2007 | 8:06 pm

  17. john ang says:

    do you have lotus flower seedling?
    from davao

    May 4, 2009 | 9:10 pm

  18. tam says:

    where can i buy a lotus seeds here in the philippines?? can you help me??please..here is my contact # 09154430280

    Aug 1, 2009 | 12:32 pm

  19. virgilio Mendoza says:

    lotus seeds for sale. 250.00 pesos per 300 grms. email me for those want to order thank you

    Aug 25, 2009 | 1:41 pm

  20. Joyce says:

    gud day po, nais kpo sanang malaman kung san po ako makakkuha o makabili na pamunla, dhil nais kpo sanang sumubok na makapag palago. at kung meron po kaung mga siminar na pwdi kpong daluhan upang mas mapalawak po ang aking kaalaman.
    maraming salamat po.

    Sep 9, 2009 | 9:46 am


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