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 From Editor-in-Chief
Charles B. Thomas

Waterlily Truth or Consequences

Water gardeners expect truth, not unwanted consequences.

Unfortunately, not everyone always knows or tells the truth; this can have unwanted consequences. Have you heard a friend lament that a waterlily was not true to its label? Have you experienced this nasty situation yourself?

Perhaps the seller merely misidentified the plant, or the label may have fallen off and it was incorrectly relabeled. The grower might have substituted plants and mislabeled them to match the retailer's order. Some people simply don't know or don't care about truth in labeling.

Improper labeling is not new. I recall in the 1950s walking around production ponds with Perry D. Slocum, G. L. Thomas, Jr., and Charles Tricker to agree on proper identification of waterlilies at their respective locations. They strived to correct false names received from other sources. They could only dream of an authoritative resource to help them.

It arrived half a century later. Nowadays WGI actively advances correct waterlily identification while vigorously promoting the idea that proper Nymphaea names should apply universally.

In a WGI poll that closed February 21, 2006, Founding Members voted "Certification of waterlilies for correctness of variety" as "Issue #1". Eight days later (with vital input from scientists, growers, retailers, and gardeners) WGI launched its innovative Truly Named program in which dealers guarantee truly named waterlilies.

It serves as a potent international program for locating sources that reliably furnish waterlilies named accurately. Additionally, V-A's Named Waterlilies empowers internet users with its steadily updated 1,800 "listings with type, description, parents, synonyms, links to images, links to extra information."

A growing number of participating Truly Named dealers operate across Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. If your waterlily supplier does not participate, urge him or her to join the free program. Moreover, ask your retailer to buy from Truly Named growers.

Rely on truth with Truly Named waterlilies or you may suffer unexpected consequences.


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