To most of us, plants and flowers make up a familiar background decoration. They may capture our attention, but we know very little, if anything, about them. This film is an invitation to discover more about the astonishing properties of a very common plant: the lotus.
From India to Japan, the lotus is imbued with a deep sense of religiosity. It’s a symbol found in many Asian cultures since ancient times. It’s an incredibly old plant that goes back 80 million years, during which it has optimised its properties to survive. In the lab, it is a source of constant discoveries, from its long-lasting seeds to the self-cleaning properties of its leaves. The so-called lotus effect, i.e. the ability of the lotus leaves to be fully water-tight, has given rise to a new breed of fabrics, materials and paints – a mixture of biology and high-tech, with solutions developed by Nature placed in the service of new technologies.
Contributions from scientists, gardeners and economists pepper this special journey to the discovery of the many applications of the properties of the lotus. It is a journey through gardens and laboratories from all over the world. At a time when society is raising questions and worries about the future of biodiversity on our planet, this film casts an unusual light on ‘ordinary’ plants and flowers to highlight their ‘extraordinary’ nature.
This film is part of a series entitled Plant Secrets which consists of three more episodes devoted to the nettle, the yew and the arabis.