and can reach diameters of 8 feet or so.
Gonnere is a particularly
striking double white lily whose
4- to 6-inch flowers almost have
the appearance of snowballs.
They stay open longer than
many other varieties and make
excellent cut flowers with their
slight fragrance. It reaches a
diameter of 4 to 6 feet. Gonnere
was developed by Marliac, but
it wasn’t introduced until 1914,
after his death.
Helvola, a Marliac cultivar, is
sometimes sold as Yellow Dwarf
or Dwarf Yellow. It is a small
variety that typically grows to
about 2 or 2½ feet in diameter.
The flowers are usually about
2 inches in diameter or even a
bit less. The pads are green with
chocolate mottling. I believe this
to be the best water lily for the
tub garden or small water feature.
The mottled pads and yellow
flowers make a very attractive
plant in a small package. It’s one
of Marliac’s earliest introductions
and has been available since 1879.
6. MADAME WILFRON
Madame Wilfron Gonnere is
a double pink cultivar that was
also developed by Marliac and was
introduced posthumously in 1924.
The flowers are similar to peonies
in shape and number of petals,
and are usually 5 to 6 inches in
diameter. If space permits, Madame
Wilfron Gonnere will easily reach
a diameter of 6 feet, but if space is
restricted, it will grow to a smaller
size, making it suitable for culture
in a tub garden.
Helvola, or the Dwarf Yellow, is small growing and great for
diminutive bodies of water.
5. MARLIACEA ALBIDA
Marliacea Albida, introduced in
1880, is a white cultivar that was
developed fairly early in Marliac’s
career. The bright, pure white of
the petals is nicely contrasted by
the deep-yellow stamens. The
flowers are typically 4 to 5 inches
in diameter. The pads are dark
green, which further serves to enhance the
appearance of the flowers. It typically grows
to 5 feet in diameter and will do well with as
little as four hours of sunlight per day.
James Brydon’s fuchsia-like coloration gives it a unique presence.
1. JAMES BRYDON
James Brydon was introduced
by Dreer Nurseries in 1899 while
William Tricker was lead grower.
James Brydon’s flowers grow to
about 4 inches in diameter and
display a beautiful but unusual
shade of deep red that makes it
different from any other lily I’ve
ever seen. The flowers are quite
fragrant with a perfume that is
fairly spicy with apple undertones.
James Brydon is exceptionally
adaptable and can be planted at
depths up to 3 feet and in areas
that receive as little as four hours
of sunlight per day. It typically
grows to 4 to 5 feet in diameter,
though it will grow somewhat
larger or smaller depending on
the available space. The medium-green pads can sometimes seem to
have a bronzy tint.
4. JOANNE PRING
Joanne Pring is the first lily in the countdown
not developed by Marliac—according to the
Water Gardeners International checklist,
this cultivar was developed by Slocum and
Robinson and introduced in 1996, though
I seem to remember having it prior to that
date. The petals are variable shades of pink
and the stamens are almost orange, making
for a very striking combination. The flowers
are typically 3 to 4 inches in diameter and the
overall plant is fairly small, usually growing
to a diameter of about 3 feet. The pads are
smaller than most and start out a purplish
shade that changes to a medium green as they
mature. Joanne Pring flowers quite freely. It
is an excellent choice for tub gardens and
smaller water gardens.
3. CLYDE IKINS
The Clyde Ikins cultivar was developed
by Strawn and released in 1996. It holds its
flowers well above the surface of the water and
blooms profusely. The peach-colored flowers
are 4 to 6 inches in diameter and very fragrant.
The pads start out slightly mottled but that
disappears as they age, and they become a
uniform medium green. This is a large lily that
can grow up to 8 feet in diameter.
Find the Right
Hardy Lilies for You
Your choices in hardy lilies for your
water garden are by no means limited to
the 10 listed here. While you can start
with these, don’t limit yourself. Be sure to
research the cultivars you are considering
prior to purchase to be sure that you
have enough space and sunlight for them
to do well. Remember, too, that lilies do
best in areas with relatively still water, so
don’t plant them too close to waterfalls or
fountains if you can avoid it. After you’ve
made your selections and planted them in
your pond, it’s time for the fun to start as
you relax and enjoy their beauty for years
to come. D