The Adventure Begins
Click images to enlarge

1998 Trash the Rule Book!
1998 Vic Shrinks
Anatomy of Victoria Flowers

How did two hobbyist waterlily growers in Cocoa Beach, Florida, become so hooked on Victoria that we wanted to try crossing them? That's easy when you have a friend like Rich Sacher of American Aquatic Gardens, New Orleans, Louisiana. For each of the past several years we have grown a Victoria cruziana in a pond built especially for it. We have really enjoyed them and had the bonus of lots of seeds with no help from us. When we first met Rich, he was amazed that we had so much seed production. We had no idea this was considered unusual.

Rich urged us to try growing the two species and to try to cross them. The project mushroomed when we decided to build a special pond, "Reflection," on the ocean side of the garden especially for five Victorias. We devoted nine grueling days in early June, dawn to past dark, to building "Reflection"

Rich, a master at starting babies, jump-started our season by sending us a cruziana grown from seeds from Longwood Gardens, an amazonica from seeds collected in the wild, and 'threw in' a 'Longwood Hybrid.' Stan Skinger provided wild amazonica seeds (as well as inestimable support) from which we grew two plants. Walter Pagels sent us sprouted seeds from his long-selfed cruziana, received by him from Trickers in 1972, adding two more plants to the mix.



 Rich Sacher

 Stan Skinger

Much of what we did, especially in making crosses, was by trial and error since very little is written or known about Victorias in cultivation in our climate. We had enough flowers over the season to experiment widely, to try things that those with more botanical backgrounds wouldn't consider trying, just because we didn't know any better.

We were urged to try every imaginable cross, even those previously thought impossible, and did so. Through sheer ignorance of how others hybridized, we experimented with different techniques of emasculating flowers and came up with a new one that worked well for us. Over our very long growing season, we produced more than 18,000 seeds from 200 flowers on seven plants and named three new hybrids.

Few if any growers have ever had the opportunity to observe and study multiple Victorias so closely. We have tracked each plant and each flower on each plant, keeping detailed records on a daily basis. Those records are available on request.

1998 Trash The Rule Book!
1998 Vic Shrinks
Anatomy of Victoria Flowers

Our Adventure Overview | 1998 The Adventure Begins
1999 The Adventure Continues | 2000 A Very Bad Year | 2001 A Banner Year
2002 An Even Better Year | 2003 We Like It Like This | 2004 Trust
2005 Recovery | 2006 Normal? | 2007 Weird | 2008 Year of the Hare
2009 Year of the (White) Tortoise

Waterlilies | Lotus | Aquatic Plants | Victoria | Our Adventure With Victoria
Water Gardening | Water Gardening Friends | New This Month
Kit & Ben Knotts | Our Garden | Search The Site | Home 
Email Discussion List | Site Map
Water Gardeners International