Named WGI ©
Nymphaea 'Red Flare'
What's in a Name?
Guide for the Waterlily Buyer
Since the waterlily is the highlight of your pond, and not
inexpensive, it is essential that you get what you pay for. When
you purchase a particular color, shape or type and it turns out
to be something else, you have every right to be disappointed.
Even worse, when you buy a waterlily with a well-known name on
its label and it proves not to be the one you've selected, you're
not just disappointed but possibly defrauded. You've been subjected
to a case of waterlily identity theft.
Perhaps you're satisfied with any waterlily even though it
isn't labeled correctly, as long as it's pretty -- but you shouldn't
be. Would you be happy if you received a garment in the wrong
color or size? No! You'd take action! You would return it and,
at the least, you'd expect an apologetic attitude together with
a prompt exchange or refund. If a seller made errors repeatedly,
would you continue to buy there? Why should be any different
with your waterlily supplier?
When you buy a waterlily labeled "yellow", it should
bloom yellow. If you buy a named waterlily, you may pay a slight
premium for it but there are good reasons why. A named waterlily
has characteristics that are specific and unique, special qualities
that made it worthy of naming. No other is quite like it, but
each plant that carries the name must be identical. New plants
are created by dividing the original or by growing them from
tubers of the original, assuring exact duplicates.
Many excellent waterlily sellers provide only plants grown
as described above. If you are reading this, you are probably
dealing with one of them or are about to do so. Unfortunately,
many uninformed and/or unscrupulous and/or downright dishonest
sellers tempt water gardeners with knockoffs or incorrectly labeled
waterlilies at cheap prices. They attach well-known plant names
to unknown or less popular varieties, sometimes through ignorance
but usually for profit.
Beyond the fact that this is wrong, consider some practical
aspects. Knowing the correct name of a lily allows you to obtain
information about its habit and cultivation. Is it suitable for
your climate? Is its size right for your pond? Does it require
any special care to do its best? Is it notoriously difficult
or especially easy? Correctly named waterlilies have a history
and a proven track record.
WGI ©, the truth-in-labeling
program of Water Gardeners International, provides you with a
Directory of growers, wholesalers and retailers who pledge to
sell true to name waterlilies. Many provide images and provenance
linked from the Directory.
See additional resources for determining if your waterlily
is correctly named in the encyclopedic waterlily Image Galleries
and the extensive lists of Named Waterlilies on WGI's partner
web site Victoria-Adventure. Both sections are continually updated
and reviewed by recognized experts.
You, the buyer, are the force that can stop waterlily identity
theft. By learning as much as you can about the lilies you have
and those you want to have, by insisting on correct labeling
and complaining when you don't receive it, by letting WGI know
about your experiences whoever the seller, you benefit yourself
and all of water gardening.
Named WGI © Main
of Participating Members | Directory
of Certifying Members
of Incorrectly Named Waterlilies
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of Named Waterlilies