In trying to determine the correct name as well
as the correct identity of the waterlily being sold as N. 'Independence',
Walter Pagels has written the following:
John Baron Photo
'Mrs. Robert Sawyer'
By Walter Pagels
Click images to enlarge
We find the following waterlily description in the William
Tricker Inc. 1928 Catalog:
MRS. ROBERT SAWYER (1927). Mrs. Sawyer, our most popular novelty
in 1927 was produced at the Independence Gardens and is unique
in being the first pink Water Lily of the viviparous type, all
others being blue. This Lily has a gorgeous, full-petaled flower,
much larger than other viviparous types, and it surpasses all
other pink tropical lilies in depth of coloring. The plant is
vigorous in growth and free flowering; in fact many of the leaves
produce large buds and flowers when the tiny leaf plants have
scarcely unfolded their leaves. Opens earlier and closes later
than other day bloomers. When several days old, flowers sometimes
remain open all night.
In a historical article in the same catalog, Robert Sawyer
is named as the hybridizer of N. 'Mrs Robert Sawyer'.
After Robert Sawyer left the Tricker company to start his
own water garden business in Akron, Ohio, the William Tricker
Company changed the waterlily name to N. 'Independence'.
The catalog description in the later William Tricker, Inc. catalogs
is nearly identical to that for the earlier N. 'Mrs. Robert
Kathryn Perry Photo
INDEPENDENCE. The first novelty produced from Independence.
Viviparous nymphaea of deep pink coloring instead of the regulation
blue of that class. It has a gorgeous, full petaled flower that
opens earlier and closes later than any other day bloomers. The
plant is vigorous in growth and free-flowering. In fact many
of the leaves produce large buds and flowers when the tiny leaf
plants have scarcely unfolded their leaves.
In Robert Sawyer's 1928 and 1934 editions of his book "Water
Gardens and Goldfish", he describes the color of N.
'Mrs Robert Sawyer' as "Lavender-Red". In the 1934
edition he characterizes N. 'Independence' as a synonym
for N. 'Mrs Robert Sawyer'. For those interested in the
progress of inflation, the 259 page hardcover second edition
book sold for only $2.00.
As an aside, Robert told me that William Tricker, Inc. refused
to list his book in their catalogs because it gave away trade
secrets. Indeed, his book contained chapters titled "Cultural
Directions" and "Commercial Possibilities". According
to Robert, Perry Slocum told him that he learned to propagate
waterlilies from his book and started his own business in 1937
at Marathon, New York.
Walter Pagels - Profile