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water lilies

by dig the dirt editor

Just gaze into a pond filled with water lilies and you can feel your blood pressure dropping. Happiest in calm waters, these bathing beauties float their large, round leaves placidly on the water serving as resting spots for toads and frogs and landing pads for butterflies and dragonflies. <br/>


water lilies in your garden:

For all its exotic beauty, water gardening is remarkably simple. With a few plants and some fish, you can create a beautiful water garden. One of the classic parts of any water garden is the water lily. There are many colors and forms to choose from--in both tropical and hardy varieties.


tropical water lilies (annuals):

Tropical water lilies send their blooms up and out of the water, reaching heights of 10 inches. Although these tender beauties last only one season in cold climates, they produce more flowers than their hardy cousins, some of which are wonderfully fragrant.


Tropical water lilies bloom in nearly every color: pink, red, white, salmon, yellow, and blue (only the tropicals bloom in blue and purples). Tropicals also exhibit a mystical time-telling ability--some species open their bright blooms just as the sun rises over the horizon in the morning.

hardy water lilies (perennials):

Hardy water lilies can reside in your pond over the winter, and send up new growth in the early spring, blooming until early September. Their flowers open mid-day and close up in the evening. They bloom in a wide variety of colors, including varieties that change in color as they mature.



  • Yellow 'Joey Tomocik' has a brilliant yellow flower that blooms freely. 'Texas Dawn' has a large spread and blooms one of the longest of all hardy water lilies. For tub water gardens, try 'Helvola', a pygmy lily.



  • White The large, double blooms of 'Gonnere' or the fragrant blooms of 'Virginalis' are good choices for large water gardens. Both have a bright yellow eye. 'Hal Miller' has creamy, large flowers with a bright yellow center and does well in partially shaded ponds.



  • Pink 'Pink Beauty' blooms continuously through the growing season and opens with a beautiful cup-like flower. 'Joanne Pring' is a pygmy with 2 inch bright pink flowers--a good choice for a tub garden. 'Peter Slocum' has double blooms and 'Pink Sensation' is a fragrant pink that stays open late into the day.



  • Red The garnet-red blooms of 'Attraction' are a long-time favorite. 'Laydekeri Fulgens' has distinctive speckled leaves and 'Charles de Meurville' has red-shaded petals etched with white. 'Perry's Baby Red' is a pygmy which blooms profusely.


  • Changeables For the water lily lover who can't settle on a favorite color, try 'Sioux' whose color spectrum spans rose to yellow. The flowers of 'Comanche' start out apricot and change to bronze. 'Chrysantha' changes from melon to red-orange and 'Little Sue' has small yellow flowers that turn to vermilion.



Water Lilies, colors of water lilies, about water lilies