For the past 5 years, the number one selling waterlily or the best waterlily at Bergen Water Gardens has been N. ‘Star of Zanzibar’. N. ‘Star of Zanzibar’ sells 2 times as great as it’s closest rival; N. ‘Star of Siam’. This wonderful tropical waterlily has rich blue color along with beautifully mottled leaves. N. ‘Star of Zanzibar’ is a compact grower so it is ideal for any size pond. In fact, BWGN customers have even grown this waterlily in container gardens! Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this plant is the number of blooms it produces. During the 2014 season we sold several young plants with 2 flowers and 8 buds! At Bergen Water Gardens, we sell out of this waterlily every year so get yours early.
N. ‘Star of Zanzibar’ was hybridized Rich Sacher using the cross of N. ‘Morning Star’ x N. ‘Purple Zanzibar’. In 2000, N. ‘Star of Zanzibar’ won the Banksian Medal for the Best Overall New Waterlily sponsored by the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society (IWGS). This was the second such competition in IWGS history and was held in conjunction with the IWGS Symposium at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Below are pictures of the winning N. ‘Star of Zanzibar’ taken by Larry Nau at that 2000 competition.
In his 2005 book, Waterlilies and Lotuses, Perry Slocum gives the following details about N. ‘Star of Zanzibar’:
- Characteristics: Nonviviparous, free flowering, very compact habit
- Flowers: Petal color: Dark Blue. Sepal Color: Inner color dark blue; outer, green with black lines. Anther color: Inner, blue; outer, blue. Stamen color: yellow. Flower Shape: Stellate. Flower size: 5-6 inches. Fragrance: Strong. Number petals: 30-34. Number of sepals: 4.
- Leaves: Color: top, green with splashes of maroon; underside, green with purple flecks. Leaf Size: 10 -12 inches. Leaf Spread: 5-6 ft.