The Lotus flower and the Water Lily have always been mistaken for the same flower, but they are not even in the same family. The yonkipin flower is a beautiful sight to see at Reelfoot Lake during the summer months. My grandmother and great aunt would always look forward to seeing them in bloom. I’ve recently researched this flower and it’s origins, and found it to be quite fascinating.
I learned that Yonkipin is a variety of Lotus flower, and that Lotus flowers and waterlilies are not the same plant. Lotus flowers have deep spiritual significance for several cultures. Lotus blooms rise above the water and are rooted in the mud. Waterlilies float on top of the water.
According to Floraly, the lotus flower as been around for at least 100 million years and has been found in a number of fossils. The lotus flower is a symbol of spiritual enlightenment, beauty, fertility, purity, prosperity and eternity. It is the national flower of India and Vietnam.
The botanical name for the North American Lotus Flower is the Nelumbo Lutea Willd and is in the family of Nelumbonaceae Name That Plant tells us. The North American variety is primarily seen in the Southeastern states. The water lily may be similar in appearance but its botanical name is Nympaeaceae and it grows completely differently. Lotus flowers are rooted in the mud and rise up above the water to stand alone, a fact that partly contributes to the spiritual mystique surrounding them. Water lilies float on top of the water and do not have the ancient history of the lotus.
Growing up with a flower that is common to you can diminish appreciation for its uniqueness. I took for granted the beauty of the Yonkipins that begin blooming in late spring. It wasn’t until I began to paint them that they Took on a whole new sense of fascination. Learning about how fortunate I was to grow up with these beauties has made me want to paint more of them. One thing is for sure: I’ll never call them water lilies again.
Join us as we gather at Reelfoot Lake in remote West Tennessee to paint these beauties, as well as the stunning sunsets. For more information, see below!