Chief Varieties of Water Lilies
Listed are the chief varieties of Water Lilies from
which a selection may be made:
Nymphaea alba (White Water Lily). This is
the beautiful flower which occurs naturally on many lakes and ponds. Flowering freely in late spring and early
summer, it should be planted on large sheets of water in positions where bold effects are desired.
The following are included in the same
Nymphaea a.candidissima. The fine, pure
white flowers of this variety are remarkably handsome, and are produced freely throughout the summer. It does
best in a considerable depth of water, and is not suitable for shallow, cramped positions. Plenissima, with its
numerous pure white petals, is a good double form.
Nymphaea odorata (Sweet Water Lily). A
native of North America; the
flowers white and sweetly scented. Included amongst its varieties are several beautiful kinds. N.o.rosacea, with
small, rosy flowers, is a gem. N.o.sulphurea has deliciously scented flowers of a delicate yellow, with rich
golden stamens; the leaves are marbled a brownish red. This variety is distinct by reason of its slender,
tapering petals. Grandiflora is larger than the foregoing, the leaves quaintly spotted with red on the
Nymphaea tuberosa. So called from its
thick mass of fleshy roots, is a large flowered white Lily of American origin. Of vigorous habit and readily
increased by division, it is well suited to large, somewhat exposed pieces of water. The flowers, over six
inches across, are freely produced during late summer and autumn. Rubra, in addition to its delicate scent, has
magnificent rosy carmine petals, and light orange stamens. Richardsoni, a double white form, possesses the true
globe shape of the perfect Water Lily. Rosea is an early flowering kind.
Nymphaea pygmaea, the Siberian Lily, is
the smallest of all. The white
flowers, barely two inches across, are produced very early, and look especially well resting on the dainty leaf
plates. Helvola is one of M. Latour-Marliac's seedlings, and is distinct not only for its pale yellow flowers,
but for the brown blotched leaves, spotted underneath with red. As a few inches of water over the crowns
suffice, it is valuable for tubs and basins.
flava (Florida Water Lily). The roots of this variety are fibrous, and the straggling growths are
produced somewhat like runners. Charming as it appears to be in its native haunts, it is too delicate for our
climate, except in very warm and sheltered localities.
sphaerocarpa. This is often regarded as a variety of N.alba, and is similar in shape. It blooms early,
even in cold seasons, the flowers being a soft shade of carmine.
We now come to the
beautiful hybrids, which are associated with the name of M. Latour-Marliac. They represent the highest
development of the Water Lily, and whilst exhibiting an almost tropical range of coloring, are remarkably
albida. This magnificent flower is the queen of white Water Lilies. Single blooms frequently measure
eight or nine inches across. The petals are milk white, the stamens rich golden yellow, whilst the leaves, a
bright reddish purple when young, change later to a deep glossy green.
N.M.carnea. The bases of the petals
are tinged with flesh pink : fragrant.
M.rosea. Deep rosy pink in color : the flowers large and of good shape.
M.chromatella (Canary Water Lily). This is one of the finest. The petals are sulphur-yellow, shading to
a deeper tinge. The leaves form an admirable setting to the flowers, being a distinct red, blotched with dark
N.M.fammea. Truly beautiful, with
its vinous stamens and white petals flaked with red.
N.M ignea. The petals of this
variety are of a rich crimson hue, forming a marked contrast to the orange stamens and rose tipped sepals. A
plant or two should be in every collection.
N.M.rubro-punctata. The large
flowers at first sight appear a reddish carmine, revealing on closer inspection delicately marbled petals, and
sepals stained with lilac, with an olive green backing. The stamens are orange-red.
The foregoing are the
giants of the race, and require for their perfect development ample space and a good depth of water - not less
than five feet. Growth is so robust that it is useless to cramp them in small ponds.
For those whose water
gardens are restricted in size, the Laydekeri section offers many charming forms. In shallow pools, fountain
basins, and tanks they display their beauty to great advantage.
fulgens. A small but glorious flower. On a sunny day the glowing amaranth cups, each holding a bunch of
fiery stamens, form a picture not easily surpassed.
fulva. The leaves are mottled with brownish patches; the flowers a warm cream, marked with
liliacea. This is quite a small lily, scarcely more than two inches in diameter when
fully expanded. The stamens are
yellow and the petals a silvery lilac. It is one of the daintiest in the whole group.
purpurata. Deep, rosy crimson petals, with clusters of vivid orange-scarlet stamens. The flowers are
particularly well shaped.
lucida. This is a splendid variety. The flowers are of a rich vermilion hue, with deeper
shading towards the center; the petals tipped with white. The leaves are marbled with chestnut
rosea. This hybrid is one of the most difficult to propagate, and is usually increased by seeding. The
small, rosy flowers, passing to white at the petal ends, are produced in great abundance.
hybrids are deliciously fragrant and are suited to small tanks and tubs.
exquisita. A deep shade of rosy pink, becoming almost crimson at the base of the petals.
minor. A small, white Lily, found in New Jersey
caroliniana. The flowers of this hybrid are pale pink, the reputed parents being N.o.rosea and N.alba
candidissima. Nivea, a white
variety, and Perfecta, with large, flesh-colored flowers, are other desirable forms.
Where space permits, a
plant or two of the following should be included in the collection. Though mentioned last, they contain some of
the finest Water Lilies in existence.
N.robinsoni. This is one of the
best of M.Latour-Marliac's raising. The flowers are large and of a deep rose or lustrous crimson color. The
petals are suffused with white and the stamens are bright orange. It is quite distinct and exceptionally
N.gloriosa. Generally considered
one of the finest of the Marliacea productions. The color is a brilliant rose, and the possession of five
sepals, instead of the customary four, gives a much greater spread to the fully opened flowers.
N.sanguinea. Deep carmine petals,
with vivid orange-red stamens.
N.lucida. The petals shade from
blush rose down to a soft, deep red at the base. The leaves are marbled with maroon. This is a particularly fine
than the above, and yet possessing a charm of its own, the Nuphar family deserves mention. For wild water
gardens containing mainly native plants, a patch of the common Yellow Water Lily (N.lutea) is effective. A
smaller variety, known as Minima, occurs in Scotland . Much finer, and with bold, erect leaves, the North
American Water Lily (N.advena) should be freely planted in ponds or lakes where the depth of water does not
exceed three feet.