The Lotus plant (Nelumbo nucifera) is revered by Buddhists for its purity, at least in part because it stays clean even though it lives in muddy water. The plant uses a superhydrophobic surface to ensure that droplets of water roll off its leaves and carry with them particles from the dirty water. The waxy, bumpy surface can be seen using a scanning electron microscope (click here to view). This enables the leaves to float and to photosynthesise.
The Lotus is one of the more spectacular plants and superhydrophobicity with self-cleaning is also called the Lotus-Effect® (trademark).
Read more about the Lotus effect in the publication below.
- The purity of sacred lotus or escape from contamination in biological surfaces.
W. Barthlott and C. Neinhuis.
Planta 202 (1997) 1–8.