When I called Jack Wood to interview him for this presentation he was delighted to assist but wanted to let me know that “Being in the Hall of Fame has kept me so busy I barely have time to talk to you!” Probably no one in the Hall of Fame is more delighted with the honor than Jack Wood. Truly a humble man he has been tickled pink by the notoriety it has brought him.
Jack Wood started out raising Tropical fish as a hobby which grew into a small business supplying stores around the Los Angeles area. In 1952, 40 acres of land near Thermal California in the Coachella Valley was purchased to expand his tropical fish business.
Approximately, 30 years ago, Jack tired of the demands of the tropical fish trade. Previously he had raised a few hardy water lilies and sold them to Ted Llber of Van Ness Water Gardens. The real start of his venture into growing water lilies came when Ted Uber asked Jack to grow lilies for Van Ness Water Gardens. Mr. Uber took Jack into his basement, where he sorted through hundreds of jars of tropical tubers giving Jack several hundred to work with. The tropical lilies flourished in the desert climate of the La Coachella Valley, especially since the property had a natural supply of hot water from artesian wells on the property.
Jack brought to his water lily business an already well developed knowledge of genetics. He is experienced in breeding tropical fish with the Veil Tailed Molly and Chocolate Molly credited to him. A love of genetics, has brought Jack Wood unexpected fame and our heartfelt gratitude for the many new lilies he created. Jack passed away in 2011.