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 From Editor-in-Chief
Charles B. Thomas

Waterlily Warfare

Peaceful, tranquil, calm, serene, still, beautiful, desired.

Adjectives for waterlilies, yes; certainly not adjectives for warfare.

What is going on here?

The seven adjectives are attributes that endear waterlilies to us. We see, hear, and read about enthralling waterlilies on the market and in botanic gardens. We learn that certain named waterlilies possess better attributes than others do. Correctly named waterlilies enable water gardeners to know exactly what characteristics to expect from lilies they select and purchase.

Sadly, not all waterlilies bear their true name. Careless or unscrupulous dealers label cheap and unpopular waterlilies with names of preferred waterlilies, deceiving (assaulting) unsuspecting purchasers. Unfortunately, this warfare has resulted in generations of distraught water gardeners.

You might think of it as waterlily identity theft (WIT), an assault on the waterlily buying public. Cheap plants steal or capture the identity of premium lilies prized for desirable features. Careless and dishonest dealers cheat or defeat water gardeners out their hard-earned cash and the full enjoyment that premium waterlilies deliver.

Last year WGI members voted "certification of waterlilies for correctness of variety" as the number one issue to address. In other words, counterattack WIT.

Today the counterattack is advancing. Leading waterlily dealers in Australia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, UK, and USA participate in WGI's Truly Named (TN) program guaranteeing consumers truthfully labeled waterlilies.

The bad news is no one can remedy the problem alone. More people need to learn about TN and then demand that their suppliers participate in the TN program.

Here's the good news: (1) since its inception in 2006, the program has proven 100% effective for water gardeners buying from participating TN dealers. (2) Water garden clubs are publicizing TN at their meetings and in their newsletters. (3) Clubs exert great influence with local dealers who pay attention to their concerns. (4) Consumer demand encourages honest dealers to participate. (5) Participating suppliers gain extra business from customers looking for the TN label.

Collaborating water garden clubs, individual water gardeners, and reliable dealers, can make further substantial gains against WIT. Participating TN suppliers gain, water gardeners gain. In other words, working together we can win the battle for accurately named waterlilies.

The choice to participate in Truly Named is yours. Let's all participate and win!

C.B.T. info@watergardenersinternational.org

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