Very much resembles our pond lily with the exception that the color is of a brilliant purple on the border petals with a heart of deep orange and the stem stands high out of the water. It is commonly found on the banks of the Nile and is the first flower to spring up after the overflowing waters of that river have subsided. For this reason and becacuse it preserves its chaste beauty while growing from such impure surroundings it has always figured among the Egyptians as an emblem of immortality and purity. With the Chinese it is symbolic of many descendants and in India it is especially sacred to the Buddhists and is the national flower of that country. In ornament the lotus is handled by many different nations, being used in both circular and profile forms, figuring as flowers, wheels, medallions, etc.
G. Griffin Lewis The Practical Book of Oriental Rugs (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1913) 118