The Best Waterlilies of 2015

Denver hosts colorful, world-class blooms

Nopchai Chansilpa of Thailand wins the coveted prize of Best New Waterlily of 2015 with his ‘Srichon.’

Denver Botanic Gardens in Denver, Colorado served once again as the growing site for the International Waterlily & Water Gardening Society’s annual New Waterlily Competition. The contest drew entries from waterlily hybridizers around the world. 20 of these new hybrids bloomed in time to be judged in mid-October.

The entries were divided into the following categories: Hardy, Tropical and Intersubgeneric.

Photos were taken of each entry’s first-, second- and third-day blooms (along with fourth- and fifth-day blooms for those hybrids with longer-lasting flowers) as well as each second-day bloom with a ruler and each plant with a yardstick.

After taking the photos and notes provided by the grower (Tamara Kilbane, Senior Horticulturist at Denver Botanic Gardens) under careful consideration, an international panel of 12 judges provided scores for each new hybrid in the following categories: Flower, Foliage, General Impression and Unique Characteristics. The judges’ scores were then combined and the hybrid receiving the highest number of points in each entry category was awarded first place for that category. The entry receiving the highest overall number of points was named the Best New Waterlily of 2015, and the Second Best New Waterlily of 2015 went to the entry with the second-highest number of points overall.

IWGS 2015 winner

The IWGS 2nd place winner boasts peony-like, pink blooms with a blush of yellow on the inner petals.

The IWGS would like to congratulate Nopchai Chansilpa of Thailand for winning the coveted prize of Best New Waterlily of 2015 for his stunning entry, “Srichon.” This tropical intersubgeneric waterlily hybrid is the result of crossing a tropical day-blooming waterlily (in the sub-genus Brachyceras) with an Australian waterlily (subgenus Anecphya). This new hybrid boasts large flowers which change color gradually from the first-day bloom to the fifth-day bloom. These flowers are held an average of 8 to 9 inches above the plant’s compactly arranged green leaves.

This year’s Second Best New Waterlily award went to hybridizer Vasu Manickam’s hardy waterlily, “Manickam.” This new waterlily has peony-like, pink blooms with a blush of yellow on the inner petals. Its high petal count and appealing color combination made it a standout in the contest.

A full listing of the winning entries and the panel of judges can be found on the IWGS website.

A great look at the contest pond at the IWGS 2015 event.

A great look at the contest pond at the IWGS 2015 event.

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