My son Zac and I have always been garden enthusiasts, enjoying plants from morning glories to cherry tomatoes and every plant in between. After years of planting seeds, cuttings and plants in the soil, Zac became interested in water garden plants. This was a new area of interest for us and we began to explore the vast world of water garden plants. We built a small pond and Zac began to try a number of different plants from dwarf papyrus to waterlilies. The waterlilies were the pride of his water garden efforts. Over the years, he grew a number of different waterlilies and they were always elegant, graceful plants that seemed to "float" magically on the surface of the water with exquisite blooms and large, splendid pads. These waterlilies always added a peaceful element to our water garden setting.
A few weeks ago, I was looking through some pond pictures, looking for inspiration for our spring 2017 water garden. I noticed pictures of a BREATHTAKING plant that I had never seen before! When I asked Zac what they were, he explained that they were "star" lilies. The picture I was looking at was a waterlily specimen called "Rhonda Kay", an exceptionally beautiful, SHOWCASE plant with unique characteristics unlike any other waterlily I had ever seen, as you can see by the pictures!
While attending the International Waterlily Collection several years ago, Zac met horticulturist and hybridizer, Mr. Ken Landon, who is also the Director of the International Waterlily Collection. Ken spent some time talking with Zac and taught him how to grow his "Star" waterlilies with such explosive results! "Star" waterlilies are stellar plants with magnificent foliage. The waterlilies grow regally, with their flowers high above the surface of the water. Along with many other waterlilies, Ken Landon has hybridized several "star" waterlilies. These are a few:
How to achieve this magnificent display!
Plant two or three of these "star" waterlilies in a 12" pot, and you can have the explosive, fireworks effect with a mass of waterlilies growing high above the surface of the water. It is extremely important to fertilize with Landon's Granular Fertilizer for an exciting display of blooms and vigorous plants. You can find Landon's Granular Fertilizer right here at PondMegaStore!
"Star" waterlilies are best displayed and showcased in medium to large ponds, the explosion of flowers are held high above the surface of the water and the beautiful pads need lots of room to spread out on the surface of the water.
In 1892, a hybrid waterlily was produced by Benjamin Grey of Massachusetts. He crossed an African species (N. Capensis var. Zanzabariensis with a Mexican species (N. Flavo-Virens or N. Gracilis) and created the very first "star" waterlily. This prompted other hybridizers to follow suit and many colorful "star" waterlilies were created. Many flower colors and leaf variations were produced. At a later point in history, the N. Flavo-virens or N. Gracilis was considered extinct.
Many years later, in 1976, after much research and pouring over old records, Ken Landon set out on a journey to Mexico. He remembered reading old notes from the University of Texas and Mr. Pringle, another plant enthusiast, regarding the village of Lerma and Laguna Lerma. He traveled throughout the countryside, observing the plants and weather and asked questions of the residents of Lerma until he succeeded in finding the plant once thought extinct, N. Flavo-virens or N. Gracilis.
Ken Landon has been hybridizing waterlilies for many years as well as being the Director of the world's largest waterlily collection,while growing and documenting the waterlilies at the International Waterlily Collection in San Angelo, Texas.