Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’


Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’

Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ is a Dr. N. Nopchai Charnsilpa discovered hardy waterlily created in 2009. It is a rich autumn colored flower that is a strong orange-pink with stable yellowish speckles on the petals. It has rich brown pads also with speckles on them. It is one of the fastest growing hardy waterlilies we have ever encountered.

It has a very striking and unusual characteristic as well. It occasionally shows some reversion of the mother parent’s bright yellow in portions of the petals. Many times when you see green sections on pads like the mother parent, the next bloom may exhibit some yellow reversion. It was originally found in a field of Nymphaea ‘Joey Tomocik’ as a sport so that is the mother plant.

It was the IWGS Winner of the 2010 New Waterlily Competition. It won the hardy category as well as beating out the tropical waterlilies. This had been thought to be an impossible task prior to this occurrence.

Here is a video shot that discusses Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ and its incredible win over tropicals in the 2010 IWGS New Waterlily Competition.


Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ Is Like a Box of Cracker Jacks
by Tim Davis


Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ is indeed like a box of Cracker Jacks. For those of you who have never seen them, Cracker Jack is a U.S. brand of snack consisting of caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts. In 1896, the first lot of Cracker Jack was produced. It was named by an enthusiastic sampler who remarked, “That’s crackerjack!” (a colloquialism meaning “of excellent quality”). A prize was included in every box of Cracker Jack beginning in 1912. That meant for every box you purchased, you would find a little something extra and you never knew what it would be.

In this respect, we are learning that Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ features something in common with the sweet snack. This past winter, I searched through countless photos and displays on Facebook for waterlily flowers considered as freaks because they were not normal for the plant or they exhibited some really unexpected quality. Mike Giles (USA) quickly followed suit displaying his own assortment of bizarre blooms. Next we saw unusual flowers from Primlarp Wasuwat (Thailand). Finally we witnessed fascinating Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ pictures from Dr. N. Nopchai Chansilpa (Thailand). To see the reversions of Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ that shows characteristics of Nymphaea ‘Joey Tomocik’ is really exciting. We had not seen this trait displayed at Sarah Duke Gardens for the New Waterlily Competition or at the International Waterlily Collection last year.

Through further discourse with Dr. Chansilpa, we learn that he sees this reversion tendency in about five percent of his blooms on Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’. He reports that when you see pads showing a portion of the pad looking like Nymphaea ‘Joey Tomocik’ along with the normal Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ coloration, this is the time to get excited. You might soon find your prize, a bloom that looks like the one on this page.

The IWGS bought 300 plants from Dr. Chansilpa to sell as CAPY plants. Half of the plants are in Oregon and the other half are in Texas at Nelson Water Gardens where part-owner and lead grower Mike Swize cares for them. I visited their facility a few weeks ago and discussed this rare trait with Mike. I noticed several pad reversions and pointed them out to him.

Last week he sent me a picture message on my phone that he had a great bloom. I had to see it for myself. Mike said that as soon as you enter the greenhouse the bloom demands your attention. I went to see the bloom. Mike was right, this was stunning!

I know there are purist-hybridizers who may see this as a flaw and view it as a plant to cull. Those who are not such purists see that this is not a cull, but that it is really cool. I know that seeing a normal Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ bloom for the first time is incredible. This bloom took the experience to a higher level for me.

Wherever you live and grow it, Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ is a showstopper plant. It produces beautiful flowers normally and then there is always the incredible possibility of a Cracker Jack. Order yours as soon as you can, after all, who doesn’t like a great surprise?

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