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by Grace Chapman, Director of Horticulture, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Waterlily pools in front of the Conservatory.

On Friday, we got a shipment of four Victoria amazonica ‘Longwood Hybrid’ at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  We have great waterlily pools in front of our Conservatory that previously were a display area for hardy waterlilies.  I adore the tropical waterlily display at Longwood Gardens and I am beyond excited to be able to grow my own tropical waterlilies in Richmond!

Currently the leaves on the young Victoria lilies are about 2 feet in diameter, but they should reach about 6 feet in diameter when full grown.  The Victoria amazonica‘ Longwood Hybrid’ is a cultivar that has a green upper leaf surface and bright red underside.  The edges turn up about 4-inches to form a lip which shows the bright underside of the leaf.  The Victoria waterlilies were grown by Bill Bonwell at Stony Mountain Nursery Aquatics.  Bill specializes in waterlilies and other water plants.  He did a wonderful job for us and helped us install the plants in the pools.

The waterlilies were grown in large tubs that we submerged in the lily pools.

 

Karin Stretchko (Conservatory Horticulturist), Grace Chapman, and Bill Bonwell

The display also is showcasing different types of elephant ears (Alocasia sp.) as well as papyrus (Cyperus papyrus), variegated broadleaf arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia), pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata), soft rush (Juncus effusus), zebra rush (Scirpus tabernaemontani), and mosaic plant (Ludwegia sedioides).

The Victoria waerlilies will eventually fill the pools when they are full grown.
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