KK Agrawal
By Kit Knotts & KK Agrawal
Click images to enlarge

KK Agrawal regularly delights the email discussion lists with his stunning images of waterlilies, lotuses and Victoria taken at and near his home in Jaipur, India. He relates how it all began:

"I started growing lotus from seeds at the early age of 15. How I started is a very interesting
story. My tenants used to make pudding out of lotus seeds. Usually, I would ask them what sort of
plant will grow out of them if sown; their reply used to be waterlily. One day I got some seeds from them and put them in a glass of water. I did this because I had seen waterlilies growing in water. Nothing grew for a few months. I tried again but this time there were few seeds that somehow looked crushed. Within a few days, two of the seeds showed signs of germination. It was a great moment of excitement and also the start of my hobby of growing waterlilies...the disease which has not been cured so far!!!

"After a few days I saw a very small round leaf floating in the glass. Another leaf opened on the surface within a few days. Since there was no room for the third one, I put the growing seeds in a bucket. In no time this bucket was also full of leaves. It was time for the biggest vessel in the house but soon it was also a 'reject'. I got a pond made of cement which was 3.5 feet by 3.5 feet, having a height of 2.5 feet in the garden. After some time this was also full and I had no choice but to start cutting out old leaves. As the plants grew they got more vigorous.....but I never saw them flowering!!!

"Later on, one day I spotted a lily growing in a nursery and bought it and planted with the lotus. These plants had beautiful leaves. Now there was no room for lotus, so I threw them away. The day came when I saw my first flower of a waterlily. It was a great day!!! Thereafter I started collecting other varieties of waterlilies. Since I had started this hobby with seed growing I had no problems growing them from seeds. I grew them from seeds collected from various sources.

"As a curiosity, I started crossing them to see if anything new could be harvested this way. I have been able to grow a new hybrid which is in the category of changeables .... it changes to three colors in three days. On the first day, it is deep pink. On the second day it is light pink and on the third it is white. In full blooming time it appears that there are three plants instead of one grown at the same place.

"My varieties increased and so did my number of ponds. At present, I have the following varieties growing and blooming for me!!!
 'James Brydon', 'Madame Maurice Laydeker', 'Rembrandt', 'Escarboucle', 'Rosanna', 'Masaniello', 'Commanche', 'Old Pink', 'Sioux', 'Laydekeri Rosea', 'Rose Magnolia', 'Peter Slocum', 'Marliacea Albida', 'Graziella', 'Perry's Pink Delight', 'Darwin', 'Antares', 'Wood's White Knight', 'Noelene', 'Pamela', 'Sturtevantii' and 'Wood's Blue Goddess'.
"I was introduced to growing Victoria by Kit and Ben Knotts in the year 1999 when they sent me a few seeds of 'Longwood Hybrid' which I was successfully able to grow with their advice through e-mail. I was able to produce a leaf of 52.5 inches in diameter. This record was accepted by the Limca Book of Indian Records and I got a mention in their book. In the same year 1999, I collected data and photographed my Victoria plants extensively and reported my research activities to the Victoria group."

KK (Krishna Kumar) Agrawal designs and makes jewelry using gold, diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones as his profession and has a degree in Commerce. His artistry is also demonstrated by his award winning photography and his representation in many national and international magazines. He lists his hobbies as "photography, cactus and succulent collecting (don't miss Kaleidoscope and Kaleidoscope 2), growing Victoria lilies and hybridizing water lilies, chess playing, driving, fish keeping, design, publishing, plumbing, etc."

His wife Sushma is a writer and contributes to magazines and newspapers on many subjects but her favorites are gardening and cooking. She has written a book on cooking in English and Hindi "Vegetarian Indian Homestyle Cooking". She is preparing her second cook book 'Marwari Vyanjan'.

The first book is a true work of art! Not only are the recipes delicious and beautiful but KK's design and photographs are extraordinary. It is even presented in a box covered in hand-made paper adorned with flower petals.

The family includes Shakha, their 19 year old daughter, a student, (shakha means "branch of a tree"; Taru, their 18 year old son, also a student, (taru means "tree") and Chuski, their 6 year old loving Dushound ---does nothing!!!

We know you will enjoy KK's images as much as we do. He has a remarkable sense of composition, texture and contrast but, above all, the love reflected through his lens speaks volumes.

 KK's Galleries

Vegetarian Indian Homestyle Cooking

KK's Victoria
Growth Experiments

 Stroll Through Bangkok's Market

 Images From
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Bangkok

 Packing Victoria For Shipping


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