Friday, October 7, 2011

Land Lotus - A Magnificent Edible Flower!

'It must be the season' - the voice of  Joan Baez fills in my room as I write the first of my whispering green stories. And indeed, it IS the season of the green (or, shall I say pink?) I am going to write about today: the Land Lotus.

The tree of the land lotus can grow as big as 8 feet,but its branches are very light and fragile. From August, I would wake up early and look all over the tree in our garden for the sign of  a bloom. And one day - not before mid-September though- I would see two or three of the magnificent beauties spreading their pink petals.

The Land Lotus (Also known as Confederate Rose,Cotton Rose or Cotton Rosemallow)

Pink in the early morning, the color of the flower changes, growing one shed darker every hour. And then, by sunset, its almost red!

That this is an edible flower is something I learnt form my granny.
Pluck the petals carefully out, dip them in a batter of rice powder with a pinch of salt and fry in a pan. I can't say if its the joy of eating something so exotic, but the petals taste so good, you won't want to stop.

But there's more to the land lotus. Growing up in a hill village, we couldn't afford to see a doctor every now and then. So, every time one had  loose motion, granny would pluck a few leaves, crush them in a  bowl of drinking water. Out came a slippery substance. This is what we drank and became alright.

Try it. Grow it. Preserve it. Be a lotus eater!!!


  1. Thanks for sharing your fascinating musings Stella. Please compile these wondering stories of edible flowers into a book of DVD. Another woman whom I met (Alpana) while taking yoga classes in bangalore a few years back has also been working on a book on fascinating stories of plants from across the world.

  2. Oh! Thank you soooo much Uma! Now this is magnificent - to have such a lovely, encouraging comment! I have been almost obsessed with edible flowers and herbs, my head and my notebooks are stuffed with them, yet I never thought of putting them together into words. Thanks for telling me to do that. I sure will!