It’s mid-July, which means the lotus flowers are in bloom at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Hundreds of perfect, pink petals cover the ponds at the national park.

Lotus take root at the bottom of ponds and rivers and their leaves float on the surface of the water. The flower stem can grow as tall as 15 feet, and scientists discovered that a single lotus plant can live for over a thousand years.

Lotus are native to Asia and Australia, but they can be grown anywhere the bottom of a water bed doesn’t freeze in the winter. Although Washington frequently dips below 32 degrees in the winter months, the bottom of ponds and rivers do not get cold enough to freeze.

The flowers at Kenilworth unfolded just in time for the Water Lily and Lotus Festival on July 16.

Thanks to everyone who shared their lotuses with us on Instagram and Flickr!