Friday, July 2, 2010

The Lotus Quest: In Search of the Sacred Flower-Mark Griffiths

The Lotus Quest: In Search of the Sacred Flower
Mark Griffiths
St. Martin’s, Jul 6 2010, $35.00
ISBN: 9780312641481

Taeko-san sends to British highly regarded horticulturist Mark Griffiths three lotus seeds. Mr. Griffiths plants them in his garden as he has done with so many floras. They bloom beautifully for a day; in fact he felt they were the most beautiful plants he ever seen. Later, Mr. Griffiths learns that the seeds came from an anthropological dig in Japan and were astonishingly proven to be 3000 years old. Stunned he begins The Lotus Quest to understand how a relatively simple plant’s seeds survived three millennia and how the lotus became the legend it is. His travels take him to Egypt and India before he arrives at his ultimate destination the Chuson-Ji Temple in Japan.

Anyone who thought botany is boring will change their mind with this superb insightful look at the history of the Lotus. Well written and engrossing, history, science and gardening converge as Mark Griffiths lovingly and reverently tells the true tale of the Sacred Flower, from past to present in his wonderful memoir.

Harriet Klausner

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