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Winning Waterlily Named
'Pink Ribbon'
Creator, Breast Cancer Battler,
Water Gardeners International Unite to Support
Breast Cancer Awareness

by Kit Knotts and Charles B. Thomas
Most images by Pairat Songpanich - Click to enlarge

Our world faces challenging concerns far more serious than water gardening, one of which is cancer. We consider it a singular privilege when the opportunity presents itself to contribute something from our aquatic realm of the planet to help conquer a universal threat.

Specifically, we are talking about the spectacular Waterlily Beauty Contest winner, Joyce Grigonis' idea of naming it, and enlisting it in the struggle to conquer breast cancer.

In recent months, Victoria-Adventure readers have greatly enjoyed galleries by gifted Thai hybridizer Pairat Songpanich. His galleries illustrate the diversity of hardy waterlily seedlings resulting from particular crosses. They also demonstrate Pairat's skill as a photographer and record keeper. With so many truly beautiful seedlings deserving of individual attention, WGI and Pairat decided to sponsor a contest to select one of them for naming.

Joyce Grigonis
Soon after the voting opened, Joyce Grigonis, WGI member from Peconic, New York, cast her ballot. A talented artist, photographer and pond designer, Joyce is battling breast cancer. She wistfully wrote after making her selection from the seedlings, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if a waterlily could be named in support of breast cancer awareness?" 

Upon hearing this, Pairat immediately agreed to name the contest winner Nymphaea 'Pink Ribbon'. It is fitting that the winner is a clear, brilliant pink exactly matching the shade of pink ribbons that so many supporters of breast cancer awareness wear and display.

 Pairat Songpanich
Photo by Tan-khwan Songpanich

Pairat Songpanich lives in Nonthaburi, Thailand, and works with the Rubber Research Institute, Thai Department of Agriculture, in Bangkok. His mentor in waterlily hybridizing is legendary Dr. Slearmlarp Wasuwat.

Three plants of N. 'Pink Ribbon' have been auctioned with all proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Ryan Hughes, Wishing Well Ponds, Oklahoma City, OK USA, will display Plant 1! A private donor has sent Plants 2 and 3 for display at Denver Botanic Gardens and New York Botanical Garden.

For 2008 plants are available through Truly Named Members including Lilypons Water Gardens and Lone Star Aquatics, with a portion of proceeds contributed to breast cancer charities. Truly Named is WGI's waterlily certification program.

Water Gardeners International is a not-for-profit all-volunteer organization with members in 56 countries, dedicated to promoting and providing education about all aspects of water gardening. Membership is free. WGI Online Journal is published quarterly. WGI's web site, together with its partner site (also non-commercial), is the leading Internet source for water gardening information, receiving more than 1,300,000 hits a month.  

Introducing Nymphaea 'Pink Ribbon'


Most images available in high resolution.

For additional information:

Charles B. Thomas, Editor-in-Chief -
Kit Knotts, Executive Director -

A Dream Come True for Joyce Grigonis - Her Story

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

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