he Nil manel (Blue Lilies) is most popular among the local variety for its color and because it blooms from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. mostly in the whole day.
The plant grows in streams, tanks and ponds throughout Sri Lanka’s low country and flowers almost all year round.
Tamil : Ambal
The lotus flower starts as a small flower down at the bottom of a pond in the mud and muck. It slowly grows up towards the waters surface continually moving towards the light. Once it come to the surface of the water the lotus flower begins to blossom and turn into a beautiful flower. The plant is also found as an ornamental plant in almost Sri Lanka.
Within Hinduism and Buddhism the lotus flower has become a symbol for awakening to the spiritual reality of life. The meaning varies slightly between the two religions of course but essentially both religious traditions place importance on the lotus flower.
Water lily is used in different Ayurvedic medicine preparations too. Lotus is a wholly edible species and is cultivated widely for its crisp rhizome and seeds, though the flowers and leaves are also eaten in some parts. Petals of the lotus flowers are used as garnish while the stamens are dried and used as a fragrant herbal tea. Rhizomes are used in soups or stir-fried and eaten. Lotus roots are said to be rich in dietary fibers, Vitamin C, copper and phosphorus but low in saturated fat. Seeds are sometimes boiled and made into a paste or eaten like pop-corn.
Hindus revere it with the gods Vishnu, Brahma, and the goddesses Lakshmi and Sarasvati. Often used as an example of divine beauty, Vishnu is often described as the "Lotus-Eyed One". Its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. Particularly Brahma and Lakshmi, the divinities of potency and wealth, have the lotus symbol associated with them. In Hindu iconography, deities often are depicted with lotus flowers as their seats.
A flower of worship used by Buddhists and Hindus, the lotus is found on ancient temple paintings and its flower petals motifs are sculptured on moonstones. Lotus leaves are used as plates in rural areas for serving food. Lotus Seeds are strung together to make rosaries, while lotus leaf stalks are used to make wicks for temple lamps.
The main use of the plant however comes from flowers, which are used for ornamental and religious purposes.
The flowers, seeds, young leaves, and "roots" are all edible. In Asia, the petals are used sometimes for garnish, while the large leaves are used as a wrap for food.
The jasmine flower has been used for ages in a variety of ways. Not only is this flower considered a beautiful plant to keep in the garden, it is also frequently used to adorn woman’s hair and clothing. They have been used to scent green tea leaves; to create delightfully floral pastries, and the scent can be extracted to create essential oils with both healing and aphrodisiac-like properties. The essential oil created from the jasmine flower is said to be an anti-depressant, anti-septic, and a calming sedative. It is also used either by itself or with other notes to create soft, sensuous perfumes that have been favored by women in the Sri Lanka. The jasmine flower is also widely loved for its strong cultural ties