The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the River Nile spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas – from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers some 230 km of Mediterranean coastline – and it is a rich agricultural region, both densely populated and exceedingly fertile.
The shape resembles a lotus flower when seen from above, and during the fall, the river is red with lotus flowers. The Lower Nile (North) and the Upper Nile (South) have plants that grow in abundance in the areas. The Lower Nile plant is the lotus, and the Upper Nile plant is the papyrus.
The Delta begins slightly down-river from Cairo and covers the last 160 km or so of the Nile's 5600-km course. In pharaonic times, this area was Lower Egypt. According to Pliny the Elder (N.H. 5.11), upon reaching the delta the Nile split into seven branches (from east to west): the Pelusiac, the Tanitic, the Mendesian, the Phatnitic, the Sebennytic, the Bolbitine, and the Canopic. Today, silting and changing relief has reduced the branches to only two: the Rosetta arm to the west, and the Damietta arm to the east.