The lotus is the world s most iconic flower. Galvanised by receiving seeds from a three-thousand-year-old lotus, which flowered without difficulty in an English summer, Mark Griffiths set out to track the path of this sublime plant to its home in the Lotus-Lands of Japan. The Lotus Quest unveils a stunning vision of Japan s feudal era, as Griffiths visits shrines, ruins, gardens and wild landscapes, and meets priests and archaeologists, philosophers and anthropologists, gardeners and botanists, poets and artists, and even dines on the lotus in a Tokyo cafe. Beautifully illustrated, intensely atmospheric and full of suspense, The Lotus Quest shows how the deep crimson of the lotus runs like a tracer dye, tracking the spread, fusion and fission of the world s great civilizations.
Mark Griffiths is one of Britain's leading plant experts. He is editor of The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, the largest work on horticulture ever published, and the author or editor of numerous other books on gardening and botany. A Fellow of the Linnean Society, he has written regularly for The Times and now contributes to Country Life. He lives in Oxford.