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An abundance of lotus flowers in Bel Air

July 23, 2008 | 12:33 pm

An_abundance_of_lotusjpg The lovely lotuses were a no-show at their own festival in Echo Park this month, but a robust bloom of the aquatic flowers is hitting its peak behind the walls of the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, a by-appointment-only outpost of UCLA, located in Bel Air. Meg Sullivan has the details:

Fluttering like pink petticoats in a breeze, the distinctive blossoms with giant green leaves rise nearly 5 feet from the pond that serves as the garden's focal point. Of great religious significance to Buddhists, the Nelumbo nucifera —commonly known as the Indian or Chinese lotus — boasts more flowers than usual this year and will bloom until mid-August, according to garden staff.
Meanwhile, water lilies, or Nymphaea, which were revered by the ancient Egyptians and famously celebrated by French Impressionist painter Claude Monet in some 250 canvases, are blooming much later than expected this year. The garden's particular variety, Gerardiana, is especially fragrant, according to Joseph Ross, Hannah Carter's lead gardener.

More on the lotuses, and how to visit the garden (it's free) right here.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo used by permission