LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Lotus flowers are blooming creamy white and pink at Echo Park again this summer.
Echo Park’s famous lotus flowers bloomed in full force this weekend, drawing plenty of fans and photographers, and just in time to provide the backdrop for this year’s Lotus Festival on July 15 and 16.
Not so long ago, the flowers that lent its name to the annual summer festival at the park were in danger of dying out. Pollution, bacteria, and predators – including people who would pick flowers to take home – made the flower beds dwindle and nearly disappear.
The Lotus Festival went dormant in 2011, and Echo Park closed for a two-year rehabilitation project, during which time the lake was drained and restored, and the lotus beds were replaced – with the help of a Reseda horticulturist, who preserved and re-cultivated cuttings from the Echo Park species, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Lotus flowers were believed to have been imported from China in the 1920s, possibly by Aimee McPherson, founder of the Angelus Temple across the street from the park.