IWGS 2023 New Waterlily Competition Results

Published on February 25, 2024

Nymphaea ‘Valentine’s Day’
Nymphaea ‘Valentine’s Day’

The International Waterlily & Water Gardening Society (IWGS) is proud to announce the results of the 2023 New Waterlily Competition (NWC).

Double Feature

To ensure the best conditions for all categories of waterlilies, we opted to divide the competition between 2 different growing locations. The hardy and hardy ISG waterlilies were grown in a more temperate site at Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania) with Senior Horticulturist Suzanne Boom and Horticultural Specialty Grower Tim Jennings, while the tropical waterlily categories continued to be grown at Naples Botanical Garden (Naples, Florida) with Curator of Special Collections Matthew Herrman.

The entries were evaluated by an international panel of judges on the quality of the flowers and foliage as well as the general impression and uniqueness of the plant. These evaluations were made based on the grower’s notes and photos collected over the eight-week observation period. Among the judges were professional waterlily growers from botanic gardens and plant nurseries, as well as hybridizers and experienced hobbyists.

The 2023 New Waterlily Competition was held this year for the 25th time. It has been one of the flagship events of the society since 1997. The competition is open to all hybridizers, and this year, contestants from six different countries submitted their new waterlily hybrid for evaluation in one of the following five categories: Hardy, Tropical Day Blooming, Hardy Intersubgeneric (ISG), Tropical ISG and Tropical Night Blooming Waterlily.

Winning Water Lilies -2023
Hardy Waterlilies left to right: Nymphaea ‘Golden Gate’, Nymphaea ‘Treesuwan’, Nymphaea ‘Valentine’s Day’
New Waterlily Competition winners 2023
Tropical Day Blooming Waterlilies left to right: Nymphaea ‘Wichitra’ (Best Overall New Waterlily), Nymphaea ‘Zi Lan’, and Nymphaea ‘Chaiyaphum’.

Hardy Waterlilies

1st place: N.’Golden Gate’ – Khwanyok Khamklang, Thailand

2nd place: N. ‘Treesuwan’ – Somchan Treesuwan, Thailand

3rd place: N. ‘Valentine’s Day’ – Pornchai Sukkasemsamranjit, Thailand

Tropical Day Blooming Waterlilies

1st place: N. ‘Wichitra’ – Wipawan Sriuram, Thailand

2nd place: N. ‘Zi Lan’ – Weiqiang Yuan, China

3rd place: N.’ Chaiyaphum’ – Arun Kobkaew, Thailand

Hardy Intersubgeneric Waterlilies

1st place: N. ‘U Bon Thep’ – Prajak Tamrarueng, Thailand

2nd place: N. ‘Jardin Nelumbo’ – Florian Henaux, France

3rd place: N. ‘ Violet Beauty’ – Andreas Protopapas, Cyprus

Tropical Night Blooming Waterlilies

1st place: N. ‘Papasarathorn’ – Pang U Bon, Thailand

Tropical Intersubgeneric Waterlilies

1st place: N. ‘New Poem of the Nile’ – Zijun Li, China

2023 IWGS New Waterlily Competition
Left to right: Nymphaea ‘U Bon Thep’, Nymphaea ‘Jardin Nelumbo’, Nymphaea ‘Violet Beauty’,Nymphaea ‘New Poem of the Nile’, Nymphaea ‘Papasarathorn’.


We would like to thank all the hybridizers for offering their creations for evaluation. We offer our sincere gratitude to the judges who volunteered their time to examine these hybrids and made many tough decisions. Our thanks also go out to those who made donations to the IWGS in support of the competition.

Not least of all, we wish to extend our gratitude to Naples Botanical Garden and Longwood Gardens for hosting this year’s competition and providing the location and staff to ensure its success. We could not have done this without you.

If you would like to see past winners or submit your hybrid into the 2024 competition, please visit iwgs.org/new-waterlily-competition/.

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