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So you might not ever see the “first” Blue Hardy Lily…

So you might not ever see the “first” Blue Hardy Lily…

      Unfortunately I did not stay until the end of St. Charles IL symposium. Over the weekend Pairat Songpanich, creator of “Nymphaea ‘Siam Blue Hardy’, spoke about the creation of the worlds first Blue hardy Waterlily. From what I know and I don’t know everything, there may not be a second plant. Though completely possible with today’s technology I believe, the plant will not produce seed as it is a cross between a hardy and tropical (once thought unlikely though now obviously possible). After about two years growing in Thailand the rhizome has not produced offspring along the rhizome. So far the plant is sterile. After nearly a week of pondering what I gathered from a simple conversation from Brandon McLane in about 10 minutes on a bus, I say maybe its a blessing.

This sign was in the window at a Illinois nursery we stopped at.

This sign was in the window at a Illinois nursery we stopped at.

       If you have researched the different lilies hardy and tropical you will find many crosses produce amazing leaf patters, flower shapes, and a number of variables that seems to be multiplying every year. The waterlily is highly diverse. There are more colors, shapes, and patterns in the tropical lilies and those of us that appreciate this sell just enough tropicals each year to keep the hobby of hybridizing alive. One thing hardy lilies have not been blessed with until one special waterlily on the other side of the world is a blue or purple lily (among other in between and bright colors). I think there is a small chance that if we extend the entire color pallet to the hardy varieties then how will we be able to maintain a sufficient collection of our tropical friends. Already many varieties created in the early and mid 1900s cease to exist and many of those were hardy lilies. Growing up each year I had many tropicals lilies in our ponds. Each year like many gardens it would be completely different. Going to catalogs, and now the Internet you can discover the new colors, textures, lily pad mottling. If everything becomes hardy the cycle will slow down. It may not matter. In a few years we will be able to grow most anything to withstand disease, pests, choose our own color or patterns, but I doubt it will be as much fun as crossing two varieties and getting a half a dozen new plants that look perhaps wildly different.  For now, I am glad there is a blue hardy waterlily. It is nice to see what one would look like. I am happy someone created something that had not been done in over 100 years in attempts. I am happy he and his family can enjoy something special nobody else in the world has. I am also glad that the tropical industry still has its competitive edge, its a damn fun hobby to watch.



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  1. Sam says:

    I don’t think its great news. I dont want to haveto buy blue lilies every year. There can be many shades of blue like in tropicals.

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