1997 - 2019 

New Waterlily Winners 1997-2020




In order to promote interest in hybridizing new colors, forms, and increased frequency of blooms of various sizes of both tropical and hardy waterlilies, the IWGS conducts an annual competition where hybridizers display their new creations. This exciting competition has been held for 20 of the last 22 years, with approximately 40 hybridizers from 9 countries submitting over 200 entries. This has resulted in the introduction of noteworthy new hybrids: plants with unusual flower shapes and colors, new leaf patterns and colors and new viviparous lilies.  Many of these new waterlilies are available for purchase, so be sure to keep your eye on these beauties as you will want to add these to your water garden.

FOR 2020:

The IWGS is looking for interested individuals and companies who would like to enter the 2020 New Waterlily Competition. The plants will be grown out and displayed at Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, Florida. Naples is a 170-acre world class garden paradise that features plants from around he world and the youngest garden in history to receive the American Public Gardens Association’s prestigious Award for Garden Excellence.

For more information visit

The competition is open to any waterlily hybrid that has NOT been in the trade for more than one year and has not previously won the Best New Waterlily Competition. If any Nymphaea hybridizer or introducer would like to submit a cultivar/variety to be grown for the competition, please complete the entry form and submit by March 13, 2020.  All waterlily entries should arrive at Naples Botanical Garden by April 25th.

Questions? Please contact us

2020 NWC Registration is closed

Hybridizers entering this year's competition who wish to donate toward the operating costs of the contest can do so via the PayPal button below. Please enter your donation amount where the cursor appears on the Donate screen. Thank you for your contribution.

2020 New Waterlily Competition - Rules of Entry

1. To be eligible, an entry must not be commercially available for more than one year prior to entering the competition.

2.  Hybrids must be entered by the hybridizer or with the evidence of the hybridizer’s written permission, which must be submitted along with the entry form.

3.  This year A MAXIMUM LIMIT of ONE CULTIVAR/HYBRID ENTRY per HYBRIDIZER. Multiple entries from the same hybridizer will NOT be accepted, even if it is submitted by a different person (i.e., regardless of who submitted the entry). The total number of entries allowed in the contest is 25. Priority will be given to the first entry forms submitted provided plants arrive at the grow out site in the specified window. (16th March to 25th April 2020)

4.  Entry forms must be submitted by 13th March, 2020.

5.  Entries may be submitted for a second year if the entry is not named the overall winner during the first year.  Entries may only be submitted twice.

6.  Clear (high resolution) photographs of each entry, including flowers and foliage, should be included with the entry form to ensure proper identification in the contest.

7.  All waterlily entries should arrive at Naples Botanical Garden between 16th March to 25th April 2020.

Please notify Danny Cox ([email protected]) when entries are shipped.

 Shipping instructions are outlined in this video. 

All waterlilies must be entered in ONE of the following categories:

-  Hardy

-  Tropical Day Bloomer

-  Tropical Night Bloomer

-  Hardy ISG (Intersubgeneric Cross)

-  Tropical ISG (Intersubgeneric Cross)

9.  Hybridizers/participants MUST provide/send a minimum of two specimens of their entry to alleviate any possible problems encountered during transit/shipping or the grow-out process.

10.  Entries should be shipped using the fastest mode of transit available and the specimens should be of a mature size.  Pre-treatment of international entries with an appropriate fungicide is recommended.

11. Hybridizers/participants will be responsible for ALL shipping fees and phytosanitary certificates to the grow-out site.

12. Hybridizers/participants MUST provide details to indicate how their entries should be handled following the competition according to the competition application, shipping fees must be paid up front. Refer to entry form for options and fees.

Entry forms and any questions concerning the competition can be directed to Danny Cox/Kelly Billing/John Sou    email: [email protected]


Hybridizer Guidelines - Desirable traits that Judges look for: 

  • Unique/distinctive flower shape or colors that are not currently in plants available commercially.
  • Unique/distinctive foliage shape or colors that are not currently in plants available commercially.
  • Reliable and consistent bloomers - heavy blooming or improved blooming in similarly colored plants.
  • Durability - ability to withstand hot or cold temperatures without adverse effects.
  • Fragrance - pleasant but noticeable or intense fragrance.
  • Absence of any deformities or irregularities (for both foliage and flower).
  • Strong foliage that remains close to the tuber rather than elongated stems.
  • Plant size including those that are particularly large or small.
  • Any other distinct or unusual favorable characteristics.