IWGS Hall of Fame

Each year the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society inducts into the IWGS Hall of Fame individuals who have made significant contributions to the furtherance of water gardening and aquatic plants on an international basis.

Individuals nominated may be alive or deceased; the primary criterion is that their contributions should be notable. Hall of Fame inductees may be hybridizers, plant collectors, writers, public aquatic garden superintendents, growers, or others who have significantly contributed to the furtherance of the Society's purposes.

These purposes are defined in Section IIIB of the Articles of Incorporation as "promoting, encouraging, and fostering the discovery, growth, research, development, and improvement of the family Nymphaeaceae and companion aquatic plants and the dissemination of information pertaining thereto to the membership and to the general public."


We have gathered as many photographs of the Hall of Fame members as we could.  If you have additional photographs of any of the Hall of Fame Members, please contact us at "[email protected]"

HOF Claude_Monet_1899_Nadar 400 px

Claude Monet

Country: France


Claude Monet was inducted into the IWGS Hall of Fame in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of waterlilies to the world. Monet’s waterlily pond had inspired his most famous later paintings whose iconic images have traveled the world. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Givernay, France during the 2019 symposium.


HOF Tish Folsom 270x270

Tish Folsom

Country: USA


Tish Folsom was inducted into the IWGS Hall of Fame at the 2018 San Angelo, Texas Symposium in recognition of her many years of service to the International Waterlily & Water Garden­ing Society.

HOF Nopchai Chansilpa (2)

Nopchai Chansilpa

Country: Thailand


We all have much to look forward to from this hybridizing wonder. Thank you, Dr. Nopchai Chansilpa. Your work, your kindness, and your heartfelt passion have been an inspiration to me and many others. It is with deep appreciation that I induct you into the IWGS Hall of Fame.

Mem - greg spreichert

Greg Speichert

Country: USA


Greg Speichert was a great friend and contributor to the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society. He served on its Board of Directors from 1997 to 2001, and led the IWGS Trials and Collections  Committee for several years. Greg had a talent for speaking and lecturing, sharing his knowledge and introducing everyone he could to the world of rare and fascinating plants. 

Brad McLane Photo

Brad McLane

Country: USA


In addition to his time at Florida Aquatic Nurseries, Brad believed in giving back to the industry that had been good to him. He took the time to serve on numerous industry boards throughout his career,  serving on the Florida Tropical Fish Farmers Association board, the IWGS board which he was president from 2001-2003  on the Florida Aquaculture Association Board for many years.

HOF - Wayne Davis

Wayne Davis

Country: USA


Plantabbs of Baltimore, Maryland had a new owner and he wanted to work with specialty products. He had a chemist on staff and they were both determined to make a product specifically for waterlily that WOULD release all of its nutrients to the plant.

Wayne Davis why did you wait so long playing with pharmaceuticals before finding your real calling!

HOF - Huang Guozhen

Huang Guozhen

Country: China


Professor Huang Guozhen is a leading  authority of aquatic plants in modern China.

He has devoted his life to the understanding, research and creation of new varieties of lotus and waterlilies and reaches out to many in China and countless other experts throughout the world to expand and to share his knowledge of aquatic plants.


Rolf Nelson

Country: USA


One of the most important contributions Rolf has made to the water gardening industry, and the one which perhaps has required the greatest personal sacrifice, and has exacted the heaviest emotional toll on Rolf and his family…was his tenure as both President and Board Member of this Society.

HOF Dr. Surrey Jacobs2

Dr. Surrey W.L. Jacobs

Country: Australia


Dr. Surrey W. L. Jacobs, a noted Australian botanist, published numerous journal articles dealing with Australian grasses and various aquatic plant genera of Australia.

Thee included Aponogeton, Vallisneria, and Nymphaea.

HOF - Pairit Songpanich

Pairat Songpanich

Country: Thailand


Mr. Pairat Songpanich was inducted to the IWGS Hall of Fame in July at the
St. Charles, Illinois symposium. He learned  how to cross hardy waterlilies in  Thailand under the guidance of Dr. Slearmlarp Wasuwat, an IWGS founding  member and member of the IWGS Hall of Fame.

HOF - Ghillean Prance

Sir Ghillian Prance

Country:  United Kingdom


World renown botanist Sir Ghillean Prance was  presented  with an award by the IWGS in recognition of his groundbreaking research on the Giant Amazon Waterlily.



HOF - RichSacher

Richard Sacher

Country: USA


Richard Sacher was inducted into the IWGS Hall of Fame in recognition of outstanding achievements in sharing his lifelong passion for and knowledge of Nymphaea through hybridizing, public display, writings and teaching.


Charles A. Winch

Country: Australia


Mr. Charles Winch has been a pioneer in the field of tropical waterlily hybridizing for more than 50 years.  The  development of these new lilies took place in Australia during a period where water gardening as a hobby was pretty much unknown

HOF Don Bryne4

Don Bryne

Country: USA


Don’s avid interest in plants has taken him around the world in search of the new and unusual specimens.

The observation and study of these plants has been enhanced because of his efforts.



James Allison

Country: United Kingdom


James  was inducted in recognition of his exceptional work with the IWGS as a member, a director of the board of and the editor of the Water Garden Journal. These efforts, in conjunction with his extensive publishing and other endeavors, have significantly influenced water gardening worldwide.

william phillips

William Phillips

Country: USA


While many people think what cannot be, William constantly focuses on what can be. That is the perfect complement to his scientific and analytical approach to things, even if it uses unorthodox methods. As a result we now have both William Phillips, the man, and ‘William Phillips’, the intersubgeneric waterlily.

Helen_Fowler and the truck

Helen Fowler

Country: USA


Helen Shaw Fowler was an exceptional woman for  many reasons, especially considering the time in  which she lived. She was  the visionary who  understood the importance of the water  gardens and wetlands area to the Capitol City. Most of all, Helen Fowler was responsible for the US’s only aquatic plant park, a green gateway  that is a lasting legacy to the citizens of DC and the  entire waterlily community at large.

HOF gordon ledbetter

Gordon Ledbetter

Country: Ireland


Gordon has been involved in water garden design for many years.

His work has taken him throughout the UK and Ireland as well as to Malaysia and Singapore.



donald les2

Dr. Donald Les

Country: USA


The IWGS particularly appreciates Donald Les' key work in molecular research on Victoria, Nymphaea, and other aquatic plants which has helped the understanding of the relationships between plants.


HOF Betsy Sakata3

Betsy Sakata

Country: Hawaii, USA


Betsy Sakata's dedication to water gardening, the IWGS, and the promotion of the exchange of knowledge and plants is a shining example of generous service to others.



Ken Landon

Country: USA


San Angelo  is the home of the International Waterlily Collection. It is Ken Landon’s life’s work and it is the greatest collection of nymphaea that can be seen anywhere. Not only is it one of the largest and most diverse collections, it is fully authentic and all plants are true to their historical name.

HOF James Guerny

James Guerney Sr.

Country: United Kingdom & USA


In recognition of his extraordinary pioneering contributions to water gardening, especially in relation to night blooming waterlilies, and his extensive work in popularizing waterlilies and water gardening.



Dr. C. Barre Hellquist

Country: USA


In recognition of his extensive work in the identification and classification of aquatic plants on an international basis, and his contributions in extending general Knowledge of aquatic plants through his work with the Society.

hof Robert Caspary

Dr. Robert Caspary

Country: Germany


In recognition of his extensive pioneering work in the identification, classification and cultivation of nymphaea and other aquatic plants.


HOF William Frase

William C. Frase

Country: USA


For his extensive work with hybridizing waterlilies,  his development of effective techniques for storing tropical waterlily tubers, and for his willingness to share his knowledge and plants with others throughout the world.

HOF dr sam primlarp - closeup

Dr. Slearmlarp Wasuwat

Country: Thailand


For his work with native and hybrid waterlilies in Thailand and South East Asia, and for his extensive promotion of waterlilies through lectures, books, and workshops.

HOF Joseph Tomocik

Joseph Tomocik

Country: USA


For his encouragement and training of water gardeners, individually and as club members, and his overall responsibility for the Denver Botanic Garden’s world famous water garden displays.

HOF Clyde_Ikins_ind

Dr. Clyde Ikins

Country: USA


For his large collection of Nymphaea species and cultivars, which has served as a dependable reserve of true-to-name varieties for many serious growers, and his introduction of Louisiana Iris to the mainstream of water gardening enthusiasts.


HOF Jean Laydeker2

Jean Laydeker

Country: France


For his dedication in preserving and continuing the work of his grandfather, Joseph Bory Latour-Marliac on hybridization of waterlilies, and keeping the nursery  active through the difficult years of two world wars and a world wide depression.

HOF Dr. Edward L. Schneider

Dr. Edward Schneider

Country: USA


For his extensive work in the field of botany, particularly regarding  aquatic plants. He has authored 75 scientific papers on aquatic flora and made innumerable presentations on aquatic topics in the U.S. and throughout the world. His personal contributions to the IWLS for many years have shown extraordinary dedication to the aims of the society.

HOF Karl Wachter

Karl Wachter

Country: Germany


for developing a world-class collection of hardy water lilies and his extensive work and leadership in establishing the German Branch of the International Water Lily Society.



Mem - Philip Swindel 270x270


Country: United Kingdom


For authoring numerous books on water gardening which have educated gardeners throughout the world, editing The Water Garden Journal for many years, and establishing and maintaining the IWLS as the international authority for registration of the genera Nymphaea and Nelumbo.

Mem - John (Jack) Arthur Wood


Country: USA


For his extensive hybridizing efforts on old and new world tropical water lilies and      introducing 15 named varieties during the period 1970-1990.


HOF Charles Masters book

Charles O. Masters

Country: USA

INDUCTED: New York City 1993

For listing and describing all the water lily species and hybrids known up to 1974 in his book "Encyclopedia of the Water Lily".



HOF ray-davies

Ray G. A. Davies

Country: United Kingdom

INDUCTED: Houston Texas 1992

for the promotion and publishing of the IWLS Identification of Hardy Water Lilies



HOF Martin Randig lily

Martin Randig

Country: USA


For developing over 25 tropical water lily hybrids during the period 1930 to 1967, many of which are still unsurpassed in quality.



mem - dr kirk strawn

Dr. Robert Kirk Strawn

Country: USA

INDUCTED: Munich Germany 1991

Dr Strawn is an invaluable member of the IWLS as a world leader in growing and hybridizing water lilies in the line of Bory Latour Marliac. He bears the rare qualities of selfless service, of kindness, a great sense of humor, and a ready willingness to share his  considerable expertise.

Charles B. Thomas

Charles B. Thomas

Country: USA


For his outstanding dedication to the furtherance of water gardening throughout the world. The founder and driving force behind the International Water Lily Society. Award winning writer on water gardening with numerous articles and publications to his credit.

HOF john_mary mirgon

John and Mary Mirgon

Country: USA


For their part in the formation of the first water garden society, for helping other societies to form, and for inspiring water gardeners on an international basis.


HOF norman bennett

Norman H. Bennett

Country: United Kingdom

INDUCTED: Orlando Florida 1990

He has devoted nearly half a century to promoting water gardening. He has devoted considerable time, effort and personal expense to the International Water Lily Society's commitment to the proper identification and registration of water lilies. He served as IWLS president, during which time he helped to organize the United Kingdom's first Intemational Water Lily Symposium and Tour.

Bill Heritage

Bill Heritage

Country: United Kingdom

INDUCTED: Garden Grove California 1989

Bill Heritage was a pioneer in the successful use of flexible liners for water gardens.

This concept made water gardening much easier and less expensive. His writings have inspired countless thousands of readers around the world to become enthusiastic water gardeners.


hof walter pagels

Walter Pagels

Country: USA


For discovering and introducing into cultivation some of the rarer and unique wetland plants from around the world.





HOF Patrick Nutt1

Patrick Nutt

Country: USA


For planning and supervising the magnificent public displays of water lilies at Longwood Gardens and making the first hybrids of the Victoria water lily.
Patrick Nutt Endowed Scholarship:  http://patricknuttscholarship.org/

joseph paxton2

Joseph Paxton

Country: United Kingdom

INDUCTED: Ripley Castle, United Kingdom 1988

For being the first to bring into flower the Victoria water lily in a temperate clímate   and basing building structures on its leaf design.

william tricker2

William Tricker

Country: USA


For being one of the first plantsmen of the USA to popularize water gardening and introducing and producing the early water lily hybrids.

frances perry3

Frances Perry

Country: United Kingdom

INDUCTED: Denver Colorado 1987

For her research in determining all the plants suitable for water gardening and publishing the results.


Perry Slocum

Perry D. Slocum

Country: USA


For introducing many new and outstanding water lily and lotus hybrids in the second half of the 20th century.

henry conard 150x150

Henry S. Conard



For bringing order into the genus Nymphaea and publishing the results in his monograph "The Waterlilies", which is still the standard work today.

Joseph Bory Latour-Marliac

Joseph Bory Latour Marliac

Country: France


Marliac not only brought many new varieties into the world but he inspired a great artist as well. In 1889, Marliac exhibited his water lilies at the Universal Exposition held in the Bagatelle (now extinct) near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He was awarded Diplomas of Honor and Gold Medals.

George Pring

George H. Pring

Country: USA


For being the most prolific hybridizer of tropical water lilies in the first half of the 20th century, many of which are still in cultivation.