Chenshan puts spotlight on waterlilies in variety of ways

2021-September-6 14:02 By: China Daily

Shanghai's Chenshan garden is hosting an annual show of waterlilies featuring more than 300 species. Among the highlights are new varieties cultivated in the garden. [Photo provided to China Daily]

More than 10,000 waterlilies are on show in Shanghai's Chenshan Botanical Gardens through Sept 18.

A leading facility dedicated to the collection, conservation and cultivation of plants in China, Chenshan has been hosting the annual show of waterlilies for six consecutive years.

This year's show, which started on Aug 18, features more than 300 species, 10 of which are making their debut in the garden. Among the highlights are some new varieties cultivated in Chenshan and showcased at the 10th China Flower Expo on Shanghai's Chongming Island earlier this year.

The current exhibition of waterlilies has five chapters and allows visitors to admire exhibits placed within water tanks and ponds across the garden. Visitors will also see more than 100 gold fish swimming in these water tanks, which have been strategically placed so that the plants are fully exposed to sunlight while visitors can appreciate them from the shade.

According to Yang Kuan, a scientist in the garden, Chenshan was named a national center for waterlily seed resources last year owing to its comprehensive collection of the species.

Waterlilies can be found all over the world and are appreciated for their rich colors and long flowering periods that can stretch up to six months for some tropical varieties.

Shanghai's Chenshan garden is hosting an annual show of waterlilies featuring more than 300 species. Among the highlights are new varieties cultivated in the garden. [Photo provided to China Daily]

With its collection of native stock seed resources, Chenshan has been able to cultivate new varieties of waterlilies through hybridization techniques, Yang says.

It takes up to four years to develop a new variety in Shanghai due to the climate of the Yangtze River Delta region.

Among new varieties in the garden on display are the purple nymphaea "polar light", the ruffle-petaled nymphaea "lyra" and the tropical nymphaea "chareonsup" that has a crimson blossom and red blots on its leaves.

"Be it viewing the novel varieties of waterlilies, taking photos or simply getting close to nature, you won't be disappointed at the show," Yang says.

Experts guide visitors during the show and host public lectures to share their expertise and experience of nurturing the aquatic plant.

Chenshan will also host a design competition for cultural merchandise, featuring waterlilies and the garden in general. The three winners of the competition will be announced on Sept 28. The garden is also extending invitations to children who weigh no more than 30 kilograms to have their photos taken while sitting on the giant leaves of the Victoria cruziana, a tropical waterlily that is native to South America.

Those interested can submit their applications on the garden's WeChat account starting early September, when the leaves have grown to their full size and strength, says Zhang Zhe, a spokesman of the institution.

If you go

3888 Chenhua Highway, Songjiang district, Shanghai. Visitors have to make reservations on the official WeChat account or call 021-6765-7812. A valid ID must be presented to be admitted. Masks must be worn at all times when on the premises.

Editor: JYZ
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