1997 - 2020

collage of winners 2020 final




In order to promote interest in hybridizing new colors, forms, and increased frequency of blooms of various sizes of both tropical and hardy waterlilies, the IWGS conducts an annual competition where hybridizers display their new creations. This exciting competition has been held for 22 of the last 24 years, with approximately 40 hybridizers from 9 countries submitting over 200 entries. This has resulted in the introduction of noteworthy new hybrids: plants with unusual flower shapes and colors, new leaf patterns and colors and new viviparous lilies.  Many of these new waterlilies are available for purchase, so be sure to keep your eye on these beauties as you will want to add these to your water garden.

Watch this page for updates for the 2021 NWC 

Hybridizers entering this year's competition who wish to donate toward the operating costs of the contest can do so via the PayPal button below. Please enter your donation amount where the cursor appears on the Donate screen. Thank you for your contribution.

2021 New Waterlily Competition - Rules of Entry

1. To be eligible, an entry must not be commercially available for more than one year prior to entering the competition. Participation in other non-IWGS competition does not affect eligibility provided that the name of the cultivar and the hybridizer name is not identifiable prior to the completion of the IWGS New Waterlily Competition.

2.  Hybrids must be entered by the hybridizer or with the evidence of the hybridizer’s written permission, which must be submitted along with the entry form.

3.  This year A MAXIMUM LIMIT of ONE CULTIVAR/HYBRID ENTRY per HYBRIDIZER. Multiple entries from the same hybridizer will NOT be accepted, even if it is submitted by a different person (i.e., regardless of who submitted the entry). The total number of entries allowed in the contest is 30. Priority will be given to the first entry forms submitted provided plants arrive at the grow out site in the specified window. (March 1st to April 30th 2021)

4.  Entry forms must be submitted by March 20th, 2021 (or as soon as all spots have been allocated). PLEASE NOTE: A confirmation email will be sent to the participant once an entry has been accepted into the competition.

5.  Entries may be submitted for a second year if the entry is not named the overall winner during the first year.  Entries may only be submitted twice.

6.  Clear (high resolution) photographs of each entry, including flowers and foliage, should be included with the entry form to ensure proper identification in the contest.

7. All waterlily entries should arrive at Naples Botanical Garden between (March 1st to April 30th, 2021).

Please notify Danny Cox ([email protected]) when entries are shipped.

 Shipping instructions are outlined in this video.  A link to this video is also located  at the top of this page.

All waterlilies must be entered in ONE of the following categories:

- Hardy

- Tropical Day Bloomer

- Tropical Night Bloomer

- Hardy ISG (Intersubgeneric Cross)

- Tropical ISG (Intersubgeneric Cross)

9.  Hybridizers/participants MUST provide/send a minimum of two specimens of their entry to alleviate any possible problems encountered during transit/shipping or the grow-out process.

10.  Entries should be shipped using the fastest mode of transit available and the specimens should be of a mature size.  Pre-treatment of international entries with an appropriate fungicide is recommended.

11. Hybridizers/participants will be responsible for ALL shipping fees and phytosanitary certificates to the grow-out site.

12. Hybridizers/participants MUST provide details to indicate how their entries should be handled following the competition according to the competition application, shipping fees must be paid up front. Refer to entry form for options and fees.

Entry forms and any questions concerning the competition can be directed to Danny Cox/Suzanne Boom/John Sou   

email: [email protected]


Hybridizer Guidelines - Desirable traits that Judges look for: 

  • Unique/distinctive flower shape or colors that are not currently in plants available commercially.
  • Unique/distinctive foliage shape or colors that are not currently in plants available commercially.
  • Reliable and consistent bloomers - heavy blooming or improved blooming in similarly colored plants.
  • Durability - ability to withstand hot or cold temperatures without adverse effects.
  • Fragrance - pleasant but noticeable or intense fragrance.
  • Absence of any deformities or irregularities (for both foliage and flower).
  • Strong foliage that remains close to the tuber rather than elongated stems.
  • Plant size including those that are particularly large or small.
  • Any other distinct or unusual favorable characteristics.