A hardy waterlily was named Best New Waterlily for 2010, acing out 30 other entrants in the competition sponsored by the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society (IWGS). Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ is the first hardy variety to be named ‘Best in Pond’ since the competition began in 1997.
Dr. Nopchai Chansilpa of Thailand, a waterlily hybridizer, introduced this waterlily to aquatic plant enthusiasts at the 2010 IWGS Symposium held in San Angelo, Texas.
It has salmon-pink petals streaked with white/cream, variegation never before seen in a hardy waterlily. It is described as a good bloomer with pads heavily mottled with deep bronze and bright green. Its vigorous and compact growth habits make it a good choice for most water gardens.
Dr. Chansilpa did not create this waterlily. He rescued it from an unspoiled pond of N. ‘Joey Tomocik’ in Thailand. He saw the potential of the vagrant and saved it from being discarded. For three years, he grew the plant to determine if the flower and pad variegations remained constant and if it could be propagated. Almost 500 plants later, the answer to both concerns was ‘Yes.’
The rescued waterlily first bloomed for its new owner on the day of Visakabucha, the most important holy day in Buddhism. It commemorates the birth, enlightment and death of Lord Buddha, (Wan= day and Visa=Visakabucha).
N. ‘Wansiva’ is offered through the IWGS Collector’s Plant(s) of the Year (CAPY) program. This program started in 2010 to offer members and others an opportunity to purchase limited new and/or rare aquatic plants prior to widespread distribution. It is also a society fundraiser, furthering education, research and the conservation and enjoyment of aquatic plants.
Another exclusive CAPY offering in 2011 is the Best New Waterlily of 2009. N. ‘Tanzanite,’ from Florida Aquatic Nursery, is a day-blooming tropical with deep purple blooms and mottled pads.