Lotus flowers are a species of water lily that is common in the billabongs of the tropical north. Their circular leaves can grow to a diameter of 60cm and possess a degree of hydrophobicity that is unmatched in the plant kingdom. Lotuses are also remarkable because it is a thermogenic, heat producing, species. This phenomenon was first described in certain plants 200 years ago. During the blooming sequence, the lotus is able to maintain a temperature within its flower that is 20°C higher that the ambient air temperature. Some scientists suggest that it enhances floral scent production while others argue that it encourages pollinating insects to visit the floral chamber.
This flower was photographed while cruising along the Corroboree Billabong, 200kms southeast of Darwin. This boat trip was a highlight of the Northern Territory because of the variety and density of wildlife which included salt water crocodiles.