Hardy Water Lilies & Aquatic Plants

nymphaeafireopal (300x300)Nymphaea ‘Perry’s Fire Opal’ (Slocum 1987) – A hardy water lily with fragrant, peony-form flowers (about 5-6″ across) of a rich fuchsia pink, borne from June to September. The new leaves emerge burgundy-red and mature to green, eventually growing 7-10″ across. This cultivar is quite floriferous and tolerant of partial shade. Water depth 18-30″. Spread 3-4′. Zone 4.

anemopsiscalifornica (300x300)Anemopsis californica – Yerba Mansa is a perennial native to the southwest United States and northern Mexico which bears single honey-scented flowers (pseudanthia surrounded by bracts) in spring. It is naturally found in wetlands, making it a good bog plant or shallow (no deeper than 1″) marginal. Also known as Lizard Tail. Grows 6-18″ high by 2-3′ wide. Hardy to zone 8.

nymsomptuosa (298x300)Nymphaea ‘Sumptuosa’ (Latour-Marliac 1909) – This hardy water lily is similar to and often confused with ‘Masaniello’. ‘Sumptuosa’ bears 5-6″ wide (on mature plants) semi-double pale pink flowers that are lightly fragrant starting in June, with the blooms often sitting just above the water. Tolerates partial shade. Water depth 16-30″. Mature spread of 4-5′. Hardy to zone 4.

irisversicolor (300x296)Iris versicolor – This native of marshes across central and eastern North America is commonly known as Blue Flag Iris. It produces variable blooms of purple to violet and lavender-blue (accented with white and yellow markings) from May to July. It spreads by creeping rhizomes, and will eventually form a dense colony. Water depth 1-3″. Grows 24-30″ high and wide. Hardy to zone 3.

nymmeteor (300x295)Nymphaea ‘Meteor’ (syn. ‘Rembrandt’) (Latour-Marliac 1909) – A good water lily for medium to large ponds, this old hybrid works particularly well when planted directly into earthen pond bottoms. It is said to bear maroon-red (lightly fragrant) flowers but what I find are bright pink with contrasting yellow stamens. Bronze to green foliage. Water depth 24-32″. Spread 4-6′. Hardy to zone 4.

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