National Flower Series – Socialists Republic of Vietnam (Nelumbo Nucifera)
Pink Nelumbo nucifera or lotus (莲花、荷花，古称芙蓉) is the national flower Socialists Republic of Vietnam. It should be noted that though Sri Lanka and India also declared lotus as the national flowers, but Vietnam specifically choses pink lotus as its national flower.
Nelumbo nucifera, known by a number of names including Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, or simply lotus, is one of two species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae. This plant is an aquatic perennial. Under favorable circumstances its seeds may remain viable for many years, with the oldest recorded lotus germination being from that of seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lake bed in northeastern China. A common misconception is referring to the lotus as a water lily (Nymphaea) or 睡蓮 is an entirely different plant, as can be seen in the center of the flowers, which lack the structure that goes on to form the distinctive circular seed pod in the Nelumbo nucifera.
The Vietnamese Government disclosed that lotus was chosen as the national flower of Vietnam because it has origin from Vietnam and has been grown in most parts of the country for a long time to embody both cultural identity and national spirit. Lotus also has a pleasant fragrance and made appearance in many traditional literatures, cultural and architectural works of Vietnam. In Vietnam, lotus represents the noble mind and pure spirit of Vietnamese and is the best symbol to characterize Vietnam. Vietnam Airlines, the national airline has adopted lotus as its airline symbol.
As lotuses live near the mud but they still have a dainty beautiful flower coupled with a pleasant smell, as such, some people thinks that this best describe theVietnamese people – though faced with many hardship, Vietnamese people still maintain their purities and beauties inside their souls. Note: In Chinese literature, lotuses were also being appreciated for its ability to produce beautiful flowers in a less than desirable living environment. (周敦颐的《爱莲说》写到“予独爱莲之出淤泥而不染，濯清涟而不妖，中通外直，不蔓不枝；香远益清，亭亭净植；可远观而不可亵玩焉”)
Source: adapted from www.en.Wikipedia.org, www.vietnamonline.com