This year, the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society (IWGS) held its annual competition at a new venue — Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Penn. The change comes after Tamara Kilbane at Denver Botanic Gardens passed the torch from her capable hands. The IWGS owes her an enormous debt of gratitude for her work at both Duke Gardens and Denver Botanic Gardens, where the competition was held in previous years. Her dedication, hard work and attention to detail set the standard for the competition as the event moved to its new location. Thank you, Tamara!
Tim Jennings, the senior gardener at Longwood Gardens, took on the challenge wholeheartedly, setting up temporary, heated holding tanks in one of the growing areas until a more suitable and permanent location at the gardens can be arranged. Their expertise and hard work yielded 15 waterlily entries from four different countries for the 2016 competition. The IWGS would like to say a special thank-you to Executive Director Paul B. Redman for hosting the competition at Longwood Gardens and for all his support. Longwood Gardens is known not only for its grandeur as a great garden, but also for its rich history in research and breeding waterlilies and hundreds of other plants.
Meet the Winners!
The competition had three competing categories this year: Hardy Waterlilies, Tropical Day-Blooming Waterlilies and Intersubgeneric Hybrids (a cross between Hardy and Tropical Day-Blooming). There were no night-blooming waterlilies to judge this year.
The Best New Waterlily of 2016
- Nymphaea ‘Detective Erika’ by Zijun-Li
The Second-Best New Waterlily
- Nymphaea ‘Virginia McLane’ by Florida Aquatic Nurseries
- First Place Nymphaea ‘Reine du bal’ by Florian Henaux. The large flowers have excellent form and brilliant color. The foliage has a unique, raised edge.
- Second Place Nymphaea ‘Demoiselle’ by Florian Henaux. Flawless flowers are abundant and open for an extended day. The dense foliage gives it a full appearance.
- First Place Nymphaea ‘Virginia McLane’ by Florida Aquatic Nurseries.The intense rose, red flower color is surely eye-catching. The foliage has a unique flush of burgundy-red throughout.
- Second Place Nymphaea ‘Galaxy‘ by Ao Weerreda. Rich and dense purple flowers sit above scarlet foliage, creating a unique and striking combination.
- First Place Nymphaea ‘Detective Erika’ by Zijun-Li. This beauty had an astounding 86 flowers during the growing period and stayed open longer. The stunning blossoms were even further complemented by the compact foliage in shades, varying from burgundy to green.
- Second Place Nymphaea ‘Madinina’ by Florian Henuax. Another vibrant violet hybrid with compact growth and abundant foliage provided a beautiful lush background.
Thank you to the hybridizers. Your dedication is most appreciated!
An international panel of judges with a diverse knowledge of Nymphaea was selected to participate in the online judging to evaluate this year’s entries. The judges included:
- Farley See (Canada)
- Gianluca Bonomo (Italy)
- James Allison (UK)
- John Loggins (USA)
- Miguel Castillo (Venezuela)
- Chris Song (South Korea)
- Rich Sacher (USA)
- Mark Wilson (UK)
- Ian MacGregor (Australia)
- Nopchai Chansilpa (Thailand)
- Severine Lyssens-Danneboom (Belgium)
- Rolf Nelson (USA)