Those who know Clyde Ikins quickly identify this “gentle giant” of a man as knowledgeable and wiling to share in more than just the field of aquatic plants.
Dr. Ikins first studied chemistry at the University of Texas in Austin, then went on to earn his PH.D. in geology and botany in 1941.
Even before his successful career as a petroleum geologist, Dr. Ikins had made his mark by discovering a massive, rare, full dinosaur skeleton. In 1939 began his collection of Nymphaea and Louisiana Iris.
Dr. Ikins collection of Nymphaea has served as a dependable reserve of true to name varietieis for many serious growers, including Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. His slide presentation on Louisisiana Iris during the first IWLS Symposium at Longwood Gardens launched that plant group as a commercially interesting addition to the aquatic plant palette. His iris collection still numbers 2,000 species and cultivars, and Dr. Ikins served as an American Iris judge for over ten years. He is a founding member of the IWLS.
Dr. Kirk Strawn, renowned Nymphaea hybridizer, recently honored Dr. Ikins and his wife of 59 years. Bernice, by introducing two hybrid nymphaea. N. Clyde Ikins is a large hardy with apricot coloured flowers. N. Bernice Ikins is a medium hardy with glowing red flowers.
Dr. Ikins continues to grow and sell Nymphaea at his wholesale only nursery in Bandera, Texas.