Yellow Water Lilies
The first water lily that I remember wanting for my pond was 'Sunrise'. I was shipped a plant labeled 'Sunrise,' but it wasn't till years later that I realized the lily that had actually been shipped to me was 'Chromatella.' 'Chromatella' turned out to be a great lily and is still growing in that pond. So the chronic industry problem of mislabeling lilies turned out to be a fortuitous error. Since then a number of new varieties of yellow lily have been introduced that are superior to either 'Chromatella' or 'Sunrise.' 'Joey Tomocik' is the most deeply colored yellow, a lily from Thailand with an uncertain name (is it 'Sri Bangpra' or 'Pin Waree'?) is a prolific bloomer and 'Perry's Double Yellow' is, well, a very double, multipetaled flower.
'Sri Bangpra or Pin Waree'
An introduction from Thai breeder Dr. N. Nopchai Chansipa of Bangphra Technology University, this lily was sold to me as 'Sri Bangpra.' A posting on the web indicated that none other than Dr. Chansipa himself saw a picture of the lily and instructed that the lily was in fact his variety 'Pin Waree.' Whatever the name, this is simply a spectacular lily. Large size flowers, good yellow color (with a hint of pink or peach on the outer petals), attractively mottled leaves and consistent flower production make this the best yellow lily in my collection. At first glance you might think it's a tropical lily.
Another plant that was shipped to me under a different name. Took me a while, since most yellow lilies look about the same, but the deep yellow color of my mystery plant led me to 'Joey Tomocik.'
'Perry's Double Yellow'
I really didn't have high expectations for this lily. Perhaps I figured that peach-colored varieties like 'Mangkala Ubol' and 'Blushing Bride' would have double flowers, but be more colorful. Well, the first flower opened and I was a convert. The flower is simply stunning. I'm still assessing how prolifically the plant will flower, but even if it's as bad as say 'Gonnere' in rarely producing flowers, I think it would be worth the wait.
Despite being superseded in some ways by newer hybrids, this variety still has a lot going for it. It's still the main lily in the pond at my parent's house - I grow 5 of them around the perimeter of the pond, and put a tropical lily, 'Director George T. Moore' in the middle of the pond. I like the purple and yellow combination. The pond is heavily shaded, but that doesn't bother 'Chromatella' too much - it continues to flower well. The new foliage is among the most attractive of any lily.
The first variety that Kirk Strawn released, it's a nice enough yellow, but nothing special. It's very similar to 'Sunrise' and, it seems, a handful of Perry Slocum lilies that' I've only seen in pictures. I've removed it from my collection.
This dwarf pale yellow water lily with heavily mottled foliage showed up in a shipment from another grower. I tried for quite some time to figure out which variety it might be, but it didn’t quite fit the description of any - the grower suggested it’s a seedling that established in one of his stock ponds and doesn’t have a name. I had liked it so much I was growing it in a large ceramic water pot on a patio at my mother’s house. When I found out it didn’t have a name I named it after her. ‘Frieda B’ is a great lily for a small pond or tub garden. It's not the most prolific flowerer, but it's better than Marliac's changeables like 'Aurora,' and the semi-double flowers are good-sized for a dwarf lily.
'Lemon Mist' is a Kirk Strawn introduction. There's nothing remarkable about it and I've almost removed it from my collection a couple of times. But it's one of the best flowerers in the group, both in flower production during the season and in starting to flower early in spring and continuing into the fall. When you combine its flower power with good yellow color and double form, I've decided it's a keeper - for the moment.