Longwood Gardens celebrates a long history of growing, hybridizing and displaying waterlilies going back to 1956. Its Nymphaea collection currently includes 97 taxa and became part of the Plant Collections Network in October 2012. The majority of the collection consists of hybrids with a high number of tropical day and night-blooming varieties, in addition to hardy taxa and several species historically significant or frequently used by hybridizers. Many historic American hybrids represent Longwood’s involvement in breeding Nymphaea and working with such well-known waterlily experts as George Pring, Perry Slocum, and Ken Landon. The collection also includes horticultural standards Nymphaea ‘Antares’ and N.’Aquarius’, which were hybridized by Longwood breeders. Designated among Longwood’s prioritized Core Collections, the Nymphaea will be maintained at the highest curatorial standards, plant records, vouchers, and labeling techniques. Over 18,000 square feet of outdoor display pools feature this popular collection during April through November, with additional production area providing propagation and protected storage facilities. The collection’s ultimate goal is to display and preserve the finest waterlily varieties developed by breeders of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Steps to reach this goal are laid out in Longwood’s Nymphaea Core Collection Management Plan. Curator and recognized waterlily expert Tim Jennings is charged with its care and development. This represents the first aquatics collection to become part of Plant Collections Network.
For additional information about taxa in this collection, click on the following link and type in Nymphaea: http://plantexplorer.longwoodgardens.org/ecmweb/ECM_Home.html