Read about Walter Pagels

Legendary aquatics collector and authority -

Walter Pagels
Nymphaea minuta
and explores the
Nomenclature of N. nouchali

Click images to enlarge

N. minuta
James Knock Photo

Walter Pagels has been instrumental in distributing N. minuta to all interested in studying and growing it. Having received seeds from Ivan Noziac, who originally collected it in Madagascar in 1999, Walter has become the "Johnny Appleseed" of N. minuta. We owe him our thanks for his generosity.

When asked about the "Australian N. nouchali" he replied:

This is a small waterlily found growing in shallow roadside pools and streams located in or near Cairns, Australia. It is very small; the ones I have seen are smaller than N. tetragona or the recently described N. minuta. I have never seen it described in botanical literature. The flower has only eight petals, not a thing of beauty. I have collected them many times in the past (including with ripe seed pods) but was never able to grow them in the US. David Curtright also collected the plants the one time he was with me, but also failed to grow them. I have since heard that success can be had if the water is slightly brackish.

I doubt that this waterlily is at all related to the N. nouchali that has been described in the literature. I have a working copy of a paper written by S. W. C. Jacobs and C. L. Porter (circa 2000, to be published in the future for The Flora of Australia) on Nymphaeaceae that has N. nouchali in it, but with virtually no description or source location except for a reference to Royan, P. van (1962) Nova Guinea, Botany, Number 8: 112, for an illustration. In checking this out (there is also a photograph of N. nouchali in this reference [Plate VIII] taken in South New Guinea. I find no resemblance to the small waterlily I found in Australia. I would not be surprised to find it to be a new species. 

N. nouchali
Carlos Magdalena, RBG Kew, Photo 
  The biggest problem with the name N. nouchali is that it has been used in the literature for more than one species of waterlily. Charles Masters, in his book Encyclopedia of the Water-lily, page 336, shows that N. nouchali is one of the synonyms for N. pubescens. Also, see Conard (The Waterlilies, 1905, page 198), Subramanyam (Aquatic Angiosperms, 1962, page 6), or Biswas and Calder (Handbook of common water and marsh plants of India and Burma, 1936, page 11). See also Jacobs, S.W.L. (1994) Further Notes on Nymphaea in Australasia. 

The Miniature Tropicals
Introduction & Index
Articles by
Ivan Nozaic | Andre Leu | Carlos Magdalena | Walter Pagels

John Wiersema | Barre Hellquist | Nan Bailey | David Curtright
New Miniature Hybrids by
Carlos Magdalena | Rich Sacher

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