Creating intersubgeneric hybrids?


Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Mar 8, 2016
Reaction score
New England
Hardiness Zone
United States
Hi everyone! Next year I would like to try to hybridize my water lilies...with a twist! I intend to try my hand at making intersubgeneric hybrids :) I am planning on hybridizing a Nymphaea colorata with a small/dwarf hardy water lily, using the colorata as the pollen donor and the hardy water lily as the seed pod donor. My ultimate goal is to create a hybrid hardy water lily that is not only purple/blue but which also is small enough to be a good container plant (inasmuch as all the currently available hardy purple water lilies are at least medium sized). Here's my plan;

1 - Take an anther or two from a two day old Colorata flower and place it in a one day old hardy water lily flower (EDIT! Before this, hack the anthers off the hardy lily flower to avoid unintended self pollination)
2 - Cover all pollinated hardy flowers with cheesecloth and fasten it to the flower with a rubber band.
3 - Collect the seeds and start each one in a 2 gallon pot pond with 1/2 gallon heavy loam at the bottom (obviously they will need to come inside during winter, probably in my mini fridge)
4 - See what happens! (This phase might take 2 years before the bloom color becomes apparent...)
5 - If any blue/purple hardies result, I will name one of the new hybrids 'Vulcan Blue' after my late rabbit, Vulcan, who died in a surgical accident last month.

Is there anything I should change about this protocol? Since hardy water lilies do not bloom as much as most tropicals, would it make more sense to use the hardy as the pollen parent and the tropical as the seed parent? Thanks :)
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