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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The lotus return to Echo Park Lake

Workers carry  tubs of lotus that will be planted in Echo Park Lake.

If you remember the Echo Park lotus as pom-pom sized pink blossoms floating over floppy emerald leaves, then the plants that arrived this morning at Echo Park Lake will disappoint.  No blossoms. No leaves. Just a tangle of roots and stems growing in black plastic tubs filled with muck.  But the 378 lotus – which were trucked in from the San Fernando Valley – will  eventually  resemble the memories and photos of  the original plants that died off mysteriously several years ago.  In fact, aquatic plant supplier Randy McDonald, who grew the plants from a cutting taken from Echo Park Lake a few years ago, has previously said he expects that the lotus will bloom again this summer.  Is he sticking to that prediction? “Absolutely,” he said today.

One worker compared the gangly and rather ugly looking lotus that arrived today to bare root roses before they begin to sprout and bloom. The lotus – a variety of nelumbo nucifera  – were delivered in their relatively dormant state to prevent the “transplant shock” that is likely to occur with more mature plans. Depending on the weather, the lotus love heat, small leaves will begun to emerge and eventually float upon the water, providing oxygen to the plant below, McDonald said.

Tubs of lotus waiting to be planted. Photo by Stephen Roullier

Photo by Stephen Roullier

Aquatic plant grower Randy McDonald with a tub of lotus. Photo by The Eastsider

A field of holes await the lotus plants. All of the new lotus will be planted today. Photo by The Eastsider

The lotus will once again bloom in the northwest corner of the lake, which was rebuilt as part of the $85 million clean up and water quality improvement project. Photo by The Eastsider

Workers planting the new lotus./City of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works 

For those may have forgotten or have never seen an Echo Park Lake lotus,  Sandy Driscoll shared the photo above showing one of Echo Park blossoms from years past.

Related Posts:

  • Botanical Banquet: Bird develop a taste for Echo Park Lake wetlands. The Eastsider
  • The Echo Park Lake lotus are alive, well and living in Reseda. The Eastsider


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  1. any word on an expected date for the “spring 2013″ opening of the lake? looks like quite a bit of work still needs to be finished. i can not wait!

  2. Hear hear when is this going to be done, I can’t wait to see it, it’s going to transform the whole area.

  3. Ummm, lotus roots!

  4. I can’t wait to see the park when it reopens this Spring!

  5. Christine Gonzalez

    I can’t wait to see the finished product, I soooo remember the lake, and all the surroundings, as my dad would take me there to feed the ducks and ride the motorboats, I always wanted the double one with the canopy, after the boat ride, we’d buy our box of popcorn, and feed the ducks, and from there, we’d make our way over to the playground across the street, had to mount the horse at least once during our visit! it was always hard for me to get up on that thing cuz it was so slippery!! lol but that was my challenge every visit!!

  6. Wooohoooo! I miss those Lotus!!!

  7. In regards to the previous post here on the Eastsider LA about the efforts made to stop the birds from eating up some recently planted water plants, let’s get a memo to the people involved to take any steps that might be necessary to make sure the wildlife don’t get a chance to snack on these future beauties!

  8. I can’t wait to see the new lake and I miss the lotuses!!

  9. glad this is being done they are so beautiful………

  10. i had the pleasure of watching a small flock of elderly asian women harvesting the lotus roots into about a dozen plastic grocery bags with impunity 6 or 7 years ago…so its probably not the birds that we ought to be worried about!

  11. Randy knows how to grow them. We buy from him every year. I have seen his lotus and they are spectacular!

  12. Yay! So excited! Thanks for all the park updates Eastsider.

  13. This will be really awesome. The lake will be such a great asset for the neighborhood. Now if properties bordering the lake can be spruced up, that area will be sweet and a great place to hang out …

  14. Any one know where was this cultivar from originally?

  15. he Lotus Blossom symbolizes the causality of the spiritual life.

    Rising up from the mud of the swamp (the physical world, the body)
    Growing up through its murky waters (the world of sensory desire & emotions)
    Penetrating the air (the mental world of thoughts and ideas) and
    Aspiring towards the light of the sun (the spiritual illumination, the Dharma)
    It blossoms into a pure white flower.
    It thus represents the Four Virtues of Nirvana personified by the four followers of Buddha.
    Leading the countless followers that spring up from the earth.

  16. finally,home sweet home…

  17. Excited about the opening of the Park…but concerned about the trash and garbage that has always been allowed all over the park and in the water…will the no littering law finally be in force to help this huge investment and beauty to remain?

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