Approximately thirty years ago, Dr. Monroe Birdsey, Professor
of Botany at the University of Miami, brought a form of Nelumbo
nucifera that he called 'Bali Red' to the United States.
The only history we have is from memory. My recollection is that
Dr. Birdsey read an account of this cultivar in a journal and
referred also to photographs. He was impressed that it flowered
all year-round in the tropics and in heated greenhouses. He had
gone on a sponsored trip to the Far East where he located a specimen
tuber, bringing it back to the US.
Dr. Birdesy subsequently cultivated N. 'Bali Red' in
his ponds in Miami, Florida, for about two years before he offered
it to collectors. Most of what he gave to growers were seedlings
which would not be true to the original clone. The line of plants
that we refer to here is from the original tuber.
Dr. Monroe Birdsey and Walter Pagels in Birdsey's
Dr. Birdsey was a renowned collector of exotic plants and
his garden was an amazing recreation of a tropical rainforest.
He is perhaps best known in water gardening for his classic autumn-colored
Nymphaea 'Albert Greenberg'.