Another water lily “Patio Joe”

“Patio Joe” was a very profuse bloomer for me last summer. I don’t think there was a single day from June through early September when this lily was not in bloom and it often had multiple blooms at the same time. In these photos the color looks very pink, but I remember it as being quite variable depending on the stage of bloom. This link has a nice description of the charm of this lily.

These photos were taken in early June when the locust blossoms were falling. I loved the effect of the white petals floating on the surface of the water. The blooms look stellate rather than cup-shaped indicating to me that the photos were probably taken during the second or third day of bloom. On the first day of bloom the flower opens only part way and each bloom lasts just a few days before it sinks beneath the surface of the water.

Both of these smaller photos show buds waiting to open. Part of the fun is anticipating when a bud will break the surface and bloom. This often leads to disappointment for me if a lily blooms during the workweek and I’m not there for it. You see, lily blooms open late in the morning and begin to close for the day around 2 p.m. when the heat and height of the sun diminish. With this particular lily this wasn’t an issue; as I said it was almost always in bloom – even on weekends. I used to have a tropical night-bloomng lily called “Red Flare” that was just as difficult to get a look at. It bloomed while I was at home, but it was too dark to see it properly…. 😉 What I liked most about that lily was the large burgundy-colored lilypads and the way that the blossoms stood well-above the surface of the water. Like so many plants, we killed it over the winter. We couldn’t leave it out in the pond because of its tropical nature, so we tried to overwinter it in the basement and it rotted. Someday we’ll learn how to overwinter the tropicals we both love so much.