The Ten Must-Have Water Lilies
I thought comprising a list of the 10 most must-have Water Lilies would be a simple task, but I had to give the list some serious thinking first. I have been collecting new hardy Water Lily cultivars for 30 years, and with a collection now of over 250 named hybrids, I had to be a little choosy in trying to pick 10 favourites. Being an enthusiast, I find all the cultivars to be highly important and unique in their own way.
It’s not just the varied and vivid array of colours; the Water Lily has just so much more going for it when it comes to appreciating the beauty of these exquisite flowers. When I walk into my poly-tunnels in the summer, I am hit with a strong citrus scent and a micro-climate of humid air from the Water Lily holding tanks. This creates ideal conditions for hundreds of breeding Damselflies which is a joy to see.
How do Water Lilies vary?
Water Lilies have a vast range of flower sizes and shapes. Some of the flowers are minute, measuring only 2cm across, up to those that are giants that have flowers measuring up to 16cm across. So, some are small, and have single petal cultivars; meanwhile others have huge cultivars with hundreds of petals. Many of the cultivars produce flowers that change colour over their short blooming lives. Some open up with a light peachy colour fading to bright red within a week.
We now have a new pink cultivar called Nymphaea Manickam that literally changes shape. This stunning Lily was hybridised by Vasu Manickam and deserves a place in the hall of fame! It not only changes shape but varies from dark pink to light pink with age and throughout the summer season. The image above is of Nymphaea Manickam; unfortunately it won’t be available to purchase for a few years.
We also have another Lily called Nymphaea Wanvisa that has blooms that sometimes open up a very unusual half red and half yellow in colour. All these blooms come in varied shapes such as goblet, star and tulip. Flat, open shaped blooms all exist in the Water Lily world.
My Final Ten Choices
I hope you enjoy looking at my list of the Ten must-have Water Lily cultivars listed below. All of them have links to my website where you can see multiple images of each variety along with a very good description and informative information.