Pema (Tib. པདྨ་ or པད་མ་, Wyl. pad ma), derived from the Sanskrit padma, means lotus. As it is a beautiful flower which grows out of mud, it symbolizes purity arising out of impurity and the transmutation of the destructive emotions into wisdom.
As a name, Pema is also a reference to Padmasambhava, who, as his name suggests, was born from a lotus.