Aquatic Plants of the Year

Aquatic Plant Selections of the Year

Each year the IWGS announces the selection of an exceptional aquatic plant in each of the categories of Hardy Waterlily, Tropical Waterlily and Marginal. The selection of these plants is a complex procedure, involving a panel of experts from the membership of the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society. Since the Society contains among its membership water garden experts from over 30 countries, and from all of the diverse fields connected with water gardening including the some of the top aquatic plant growers in the world, they are particularly suited to make this selection. The selection committee may contain horticulturalists, commercial growers, landscape architects, hybridizers, researchers and other professionals with a wide background in aquatics.

Many factors are considered in this selection: tendency to bloom prolifically, reliability, beauty, consistency, broad appeal, availability, and vigor. The selection is made more difficult by the fact that soil, climate, fertility, and other growing conditions can make a variety perform differently for growers or for home gardeners, and also in different areas of the country, or even the world. Some plants even exhibit different habits such as deeper colors, or wider opening flowers under varying circumstances. Waterlily specialists have long noted this phenomenon. For this reason, the panel always contains members from widely varying geographic areas.

Once the committee has made a preliminary selection, major growers are polled to make sure there is sufficient stock available so that the general public will have an opportunity to obtain the Plants of the Year for their own pond. By featuring some of the best plants available, we hope to increase each pond owner’s satisfaction and enjoyment in the beauty of their pond environment with the choice of outstanding performers. Part of the whole water gardening experience is the aesthetic pleasure we obtain from the incredible beauty of the aquatic plants.


Nymphaea ‘Foxfire’ – Tropical Day-blooming Waterlily

Nymphaea ‘Mangkala Ubol’ – Hardy Waterlily

Orontium aquaticum 'Big Red'


Nymphaea ‘Lindsey Woods’ – Tropical Day-blooming Waterlily

Nymphaea Lindsey Woods
Nymphaea ‘Perry’s Double White’ – Hardy Waterlily

Nymphaea - Perry?s Double White
Tulbaghia violacea 'Variegata' – Variegated Society Garlic

Variegated Society Garlic ? Tulbaghia violacea variegate


Nymphaea ‘Jennifer Rebecca’ – Tropical Night-blooming Waterlily

Nymphaea Jennifer Rebecca
Nymphaea ‘Laydekeri Fulgens’ – Hardy Waterlily

Nymphaea Laydekeri Fulgens
Scripus zebrinus (syn. Schoenoplectus lacustris subsp. tabernaemontani 'Zebrinus') – Zebra Rush

Zebra Rush ? Scripus zebrinus


No selections made


Selections were made but no consensus was reached in committee so selections were not promoted.


Nelumbo 'Mrs. Perry Slocum' – Lotus

Hardy Lotus ? Mrs. Perry D. Slocum
Nymphaea ‘Texas Dawn’ – Hardy Waterlily

Nymphaea Texas Dawn
Cyperus papyrus 'King Tut' – Dwarf Egyptian Papyrus

King Tut Papyrus ? Cyperus cv.


Nymphaea ‘Wood’s White Knight’ – Tropical Night-blooming Waterlily

Nymphaea Wood?s White Knight
Nymphaea ‘James Brydon’ – Hardy Waterlily

Nymphaea James Brydon
Pontaderia cordata 'Alba' – White Pickerel Plant

Pickerel Rush ? Pontaderia cordata


Nymphaea ‘Star of Siam’ – Tropical Day-blooming Waterlily

Nymphaea Star of Siam

Nymphaea ‘Pink Sensation’ – Hardy Waterlily

Nymphaea Pink Sensation

Sagittaria montevidensis – Aztec Arrowhead

Aztec Arrowhead ? Sagittaria montevidensis


Nymphaea ‘Albert Greenberg’ – Tropical Day-blooming Waterlily

Nymphaea Albert Greenberg

Nymphaea ‘Joey Tomocik’ – Hardy Waterlily

Nymphaea Joey Tomocik

Acorus calamus 'Variegatus' – Variegated Sweetflag

Variegated Sweet Flag ? Acorus calamus variegate


Nymphaea ‘Panama Pacific’ – Tropical Day-blooming Waterlily

Nymphaea Panama Pacific

Nymphaea ‘Colorado’ – Hardy Waterlily

Nymphaea Colorado

Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic' – Black Magic Taro

Black Magic Taro ? Colocasia esculenta