LilyFest 2011

Saturday September 17, 2011 Our seventh annual International Waterlily Collection Celebration was held on Saturday September 17th, 2011 at Civic League Park in San Angelo, Texas from 9 a.m. until noon. Lily Fest was hosted by San Angelo’s Park & Recreation Service Area, the Council of Garden Clubs, the Tom Green County Master Gardeners, Keep San Angelo Beautiful, and supporters of the International Waterlily Collection. The event celebrates San Angelo’s unique, important, and beautiful asset – the International Waterlily Collection (an IWGS Certified Nymphaea Collection). On the third Saturday in September in Civic League Park in San Angelo, Texas the friends and supporters of Ken Landon’s International Waterlily Collection gathered for the seventh annual Lily festival. Three new waterlilies were dedicated this year and a Texas State Representative, the honorable Drew Darby also joined for the second year in a row this time to present the proclamation of Ken Landon’s Nymphaea ‘Texas Dawn’ as the official State Waterlily of Texas. Ken has run the park for nearly three decades and often chooses special folks or workers of San Angelo to name waterlilies after. There are between 250 and 300 waterlilies on display each year of the nearly 3000 Ken Landon has collected or rescued both species and cultivars.

Honorees chosen for newly named waterlilies for 2011

Mrs. Laura Lee Davis

Mrs. Laura Lee Davis is the mother of Tim Davis, one of the members of the IWC. He created this hybrid and wished to honor his mother by naming it for her. It was recognized and documented at LilyFest in 2011. Mrs. Davis had recently had surgery and was not able to attend the festivities but we want to ensure she was able to realize the honor her son wished to bestow.

Miss Genna Duncan

Genna has worked for the last several years at the IWC with Ken as part of his staff. Genna is never one to be shy and always kept the group laughing in cold weather or hot. She is a genuinely fun person to be around with a positive attitude. She helped put on the show of the century for 2010’s IWGS Symposium and LilyFest. She has moved on to the next phase of her life as a college student and will be missed. As a dedicated staff member, she was honored as Eve, Mindy and Melody were before her with a waterlily.

Miss Griffin Greene

This is a young lady that as a student of the Ambleside School in San Angelo visited the IWC on school trips. She was brought there by her teacher, Ms. Reynolds. As a student she was most interested in what Ken’s life work has produced. She was one of 8 candidates from about 500 students that visited the IWC on trips. The staff of the IWC determined who was the most deserving of all the scholastic visitors based on their enthusiasm and interest in the IWC. She also was able to choose a waterlily to name from a pool of outstanding new hybrids created at the IWC

Nymphaea ‘Texas Dawn’ is one of the best yellow-flowered waterlilies since Nymphaea ‘Marliaces Chromatella’ made its appearance in 1887 according to expert, Perry D. Slocum. It received the prestigious International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society’s American Award in 1990 and was recognized as ‘lily of the decade’ during the ‘80s.

Just recently it was awarded another high accolade. It was named first as one of the Texas Superstar WaterGarden Plants by the Texas A & M Agriculture Program. Then upon final voting, it was named as the leader of the group of waterlilies.

Nymphaea ‘Texas Dawn’ is a hybrid hardy waterlily created from a native Texas species, Nymphaea mexicana and a selected hybrid, Nymphaea ’Pink Starlet’. Nymphaea ‘Texas Dawn’ is among the most popular ‘yellows’ to date. A profuse bloomer whose fragrance is delightfully lemony. This lovely and highly recommended lily was developed by Kenneth Landon in San Angelo, Texas. Ken stated “ When I first saw the flower its coloring was reminiscent of a Texas sunrise, hence I named it Nymphaea ‘Texas Dawn’.”

It was recently voted the official state waterlily by the Texas Legislature, and approved by Gov. Rick Perry in June of 2011. It’s a hardy lily that will grow in the shade. The fact that is holds its blooms high above the water and blooms more profusely like a tropical has made it a highly sought after plant by pond enthusiasts and hybridizers world-wide.

Here is a link to the House Concurrent Resolution, H.C.R. No. 24 drafted by Representative Drew Darby.

This was made official at 4 pm on June 17, 2011.

We have been priveleged enough to witness history in the making here in San Angelo, Texas. School children who take the course in Texas History in our state will forever more learn of this accomplishment by Ken Landon just as they learn that the state flower is the Texas Bluebonnet.

Video 1 is an introduction to the park, Lilyfest, supporters, and the waterlilies.

Video 2 Ken Landon and Tim Davis presenting the new waterlilies.

Video 3 is the Presentation of Texas Dawn by Representative Drew Darby and follow up by Ken Landon on the new Intersubgeneric (ISG) plants found in the pools.

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