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Thread: Taming the Wild Anecphya

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    CraigP's Avatar
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    Taming the Wild Anecphya

    It is hard to believe that it is now 20 years ago that Dr. Kirk Strawn sent me my first Australian waterlilies and it was largely those lilies that lead to my wonderful association with Kit and Ben Knotts and Rich Sacher and his partner Kevin.

    For those not familiar with the Australian waterlilies, there are reasons they are not commonly found in the hobby. For one, they are large, somewhat leggy lilies that command a lot of space; but their larger problem is they do not tend to ship well. It is not unusual to get a tuber that sulks and refuses to grow or a plant that immediately dies back to tuber. Rich has worked out a protocol to jump start a stubborn tuber and has been working diligently to produce an Aussie that is as easy to cultivate as the common tropical lilies in the subgenus Brachyceras. He firmly believes that his introduction N. 'Betty Lou' fits the bill and from the ones he has sent me he does indeed have a winner.

    Today he sent me a picture of what he hopes will be a dwarf Aussie....although both it and 'Betty Lou' are ISH and not pure Anecphya. You can see it is a wonderful looking specimen. We did have to also lament the problem of let's say "impure" stock. He suggested that there are only four or five breeders he would trust for true specimen and identified the source for the plethora of misnamed plants on the fact: "There must be a thousand hybridizers at work all over the place, putting wrong names on every darling little seedling that comes along. Only the cognoscienti will be able to discern a high quality lily now"

    He commented on three he had seen for sale on eBay: "Well, they ARE all Aussies of some type, but to my eye, all three of them are different, and not even the one called Albert de Lestang is correctly named. "

    To learn more about how to recognize truly named plants, here is a link to an older ( but still accurate ) thread on the subject. If you can get an inexpensive mongrel to learn on fine, but to see them in all their beauty go for the real deal ....the blues are stunning! Not washed out whites. http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...an-Lily-Primer

    So the suggestion is....if you want true to type Aussies, you are best finding a knowledgeable American grower, ask for and study pictures of the plants and blooms.....check the spelling to see the names are properly spelled. a bona fide grower will know that , for instance, it is N. gigantea and not gigantia. As Rich says " But if the Aussies came from Thailand...all bets are off as to their names " and gigantia and misspelled Albert de Lestang are the hints you are about to get mongrels.
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    Last edited by CraigP; 05-09-2017 at 06:54 PM.
    "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." ~ Jimi Hendrix

    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”― Stephen Hawking

    "On entering this world our starting-point is ignorance. None, however, but idiots remain there."~ Horace Mann

    Craig

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    CraigP's Avatar
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    Found a link to another discussion of Anecphya......again showing just how vivid the colors are on the truly named plants. http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...ssie-ID-Primer
    "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." ~ Jimi Hendrix

    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”― Stephen Hawking

    "On entering this world our starting-point is ignorance. None, however, but idiots remain there."~ Horace Mann

    Craig

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    Wiscdude is offline
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    Awesome. The industry is lucky to have Rich. I thought Carlos made some teeny tiny intersubgeneric Aussies way back. Am i crazy?

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    CraigP's Avatar
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    Rich's dedication to the craft is impressive indeed. Expert that he is, he recognizes the finicky nature of the Australian Nymphaea species and is working diligently to 'tame' them by introducing N. colorata into the subgenera. The fact that beauties such as N. gigantea, N.immutabilis and the other Aussies are difficult is obvious from their absence in the market place.

    The one that Aussie Nymph that does well in cultivation is Mr. Pring's selection named 'Albert de Lestang'. Sadly, that is the lily now offered by some not familiar with plant taxonomy as any and every Aussie they are actually unable to grow. I guess since all tubers look pretty much alike, they figure one name can fit all lilies. Either that or they hold money to be more important than the integrity of named plants.....or maybe they are colorblind < g >

    I do remember that Carlos came up with some beautiful crosses....but I don't recall them being small. But really wouldn't matter, Anecphya are generally large lilies, he also added colorata, so if small they are ISH and no longer pure Anecphya and this thread was started to help hobbyists identify the Aussie species, so as to avoid the pale white substitute they are likely to receive.
    "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." ~ Jimi Hendrix

    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”― Stephen Hawking

    "On entering this world our starting-point is ignorance. None, however, but idiots remain there."~ Horace Mann

    Craig

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