Colorado’s sunny days and cool nights allow for a spectacular display of colorful water lily blooms, earning us the reputation as one of the world’s leading water-gardening centers.
Hardy water lilies bloom from May through September and comprise the backbone of most water gardens. And there are a multitude of excellent varieties to choose from. James Brydon is a classical cup-shaped red. Joey Tomocik is a consistent performer and is the brightest yellow. Mayla is brilliant with its fuchsia blooms. Pink Sensation and Rosy Morn are noteworthy pinks. Mary is an exceptional red and white bi-color. Arc-en-Ciel is stunning with its uniquely blotched-purple-rose leaves.
Denver is a prolific blooming cream-colored water lily. Display it with Colorado, the world’s first salmon-pink selection.
Tropical water lilies are stunning and also can be blue or purple. Plant them in mid-June and enjoy their exciting blooms into October. Panama Pacific with its plum-colored flowers is a perennial favorite. Leopardess is a giant plant with exotic mottled leaves and blue blooms. St. Louis Gold is a smaller, yellow variety. A recent introduction is Josephine with purple-tipped, white flowers. Rhonda Kay is a purple star lily with blooms reaching 16 to 18 inches above the water. Red Flare, Antares and Jennifer Rebecca are showy red, night-flowering varieties.
Marginals vary in height, texture and form and add interest and maturity to a water garden. White bulrush has bright colored green and white variegated leaves that reach six feet. Prairie cordgrass is easy to grow and turns golden brown in late summer. The tropical, red-stemmed thalia is stunning with its red leaves. Taro, with its elephant ear leaves, is showy. The umbrella plant is popular and easy to grow.
The short chameleon plant is a Colorado favorite with its beautiful variegated leaves.