James Knock Photo
Two little, miniature in fact, tropical day blooming waterlily
species have recently really drawn the attention of hybridizers
around the world. Each is interesting, a little difficult and
unpredictable, and not very pretty. The flowers are tiny and
pale with few petals.
Why are they so interesting? They are very primitive and remarkably
similar -- are they related? Our international panel of experts
provides us with the most comprehensive look at them to be found
anywhere. Beyond the appeal of these little plants to collectors
who enjoy growing usually less showy species plants, they could
lead us to a new generation of small hybrids, vibrant and compact,
the dream of many hybridizers and growers.
Ivan Nozaic, Queensland, Australia, discovered Nymphaea
minuta in Madagascar and we present his account of that find.
He shared seeds of it with Walter Pagels and others. Walter made
it available to many growers in the United States and elsewhere
who today experiment with crossing it, Rich Sacher among them.
Ivan was also among the first to recognize and collect a small
light blue waterlily in Queensland, Australia. Leading taxonomists
are comfortable calling it N. nouchali, as it matches
the type description recorded by Burmann in India in 1768 but,
until this is proven, we call it the Australian N. nouchali
in this series of articles. Andre Leu, Australia, discusses the
status and possible evolution of this primitive little waterlily
and compares it with N. minuta. Dr. John Wiersema contributes
his taxonomic expertise on the Australian N. nouchali.