PDF View

May 2021 Newsletter

CWGS 2021 Plant Swap

By: Kim Kimpton

Are you ready for our Annual Plant Swap? It looks like spring has finally arrived and snow and cold temperatures are mostly behind us! Hopefully, your pond plants are waking up from their long winter's nap. Are some of your plants doing their best impression of the Hulk and growing out of their pots? That is a sure sign they need to be divided. When you are dividing those plants, don't throw those divisions away, bring them to our Annual Plant Swap instead.

This year's Swap is scheduled for Friday, May 21st beginning at 7:00 pm. It will take place at the West Terrace located within the Denver Botanic Gardens. To access the Swap, enter the Gardens through the Visitor's Gate toward the south side of the property. Let them know you are here for the CWGS Plant Swap. As you enter the gardens, go past the Visitor Center/Gift Shop and Boettcher Memorial Center (where the Tropical Conservatory is located), continue down the main walk past the Orangery/greenhouses until you reach the large, tented area located on the west side of the Orangery/greenhouses. This area is the West Terrace. Here is a map of the Denver Botanic Gardens https://www.botanicgardens.org/sites/default/files/file/2020-10/YorkMap_wLogo-102320.pdf

If you need help getting your plants in, call my cell (303-919-6112) and we will get someone to help you, hopefully with a wagon in tow.

We will not be hosting our usual potluck due to COVID restrictions, but you are welcome to bring food and a drink for yourself.

Please note, all COVID related restrictions put in place at the time will be strictly adhered to.

So how does it work? Remember those extra divisions you have? Bring them to the Swap and set them out. You will be asked to talk about the plants you are contributing. Give as much information as you can. For instance: name of plant, how it grows, hardy or tropical, if it blooms, what color, etc. The more information you can provide, the better chance it will have with its new owner. Once everyone has talked about their plant the swapping starts. For every plant you brought, you are invited to pick a plant from other’s offerings.

If you don't have any divisions to share, don’t let that scare you away. For one thing listening to people talk about plants is very informative. For another, many bring more than they take, so there are always extra plants. After everyone has taken their allowed number of plants, we open it up to people that didn’t bring anything or people that want more than they brought. If you don't have any pond plants to share we also swap other things like terrestrial plants, containers, yard art, house plants, you name it.

See you May 21st and let the water gardening season begin!

For more information, please contact Kim Kimpton at 303-919-6112 or kimkimpton1@gmail.com.

2021 CWGS Plant Sale

By: Vicki Aber

Our Plant Sale will look a lot more like previous sales than our abbreviated sale last year. We have what we think is an exciting mix of plants, both those we have ordered and tried and true plants donated from our member’s ponds.

The Sale will be on Sunday June 6th. It will be at Hudson Gardens again, 6115 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, CO 80120. We will be at the patio area of the Business Office/Residence building.

Enter through the Welcome Center. Click here for a map of Hudson Gardens https://www.hudsongardens.org/garden- map/.

Please note all COVID restrictions will be strictly adhered to.

The sale will start at 9:00 am for members and 10:00 am for non-members. In addition to a wide selection of plants we will have pond tab fertilizer in bags of 25, 50, and 100. We will also have a few 1/2 whiskey barrel plastic liners for sale for your container gardens!

For a complete list of plants that will be offered for sale, click here https://colowatergardensociety.org/files/ItemFileA311.pdf. These are the plants we are expecting to get. In talking to at least two of our suppliers, they have been overwhelmed with orders so we cannot promise all the plants on the list will get here and there may be last minute substitutions.

If you would like to help with the Sale, we can always use it. We would like to know in advance who is coming, please call me 303-423-9216 or email docvicki@msn.com. That way, we can make sure we have people where we need them. For every hour you work, you get 2 lily bucks. Each lily buck earned is worth a dollar toward your purchases.

We will be working Saturday June 5th. We will be getting everything ready, plants labeled, and organized. We will start at 9:00 am and are usually done by noon depending on how many volunteers we have. Sunday we will start at 8:00 am getting everything ready for the shoppers arriving at 9:00 am. After that, we need help assisting shoppers, answering questions, keeping water in the plants, and so forth. We are usually done by about 2:00 pm. At the end of the day we do need people to stick around to help pick up. We like to leave the area in the shape we found it. We will have donuts and coffee both mornings and lunch on Sunday.

If you have extra plants from your garden to donate, we would like to have them on Saturday so we can label and price them.

The sale is always a lot of work, but a whole lot of fun and you end up with plants to beautify your water feature. Win, win, win.

For more information, please contact Vicki Aber at 303-423-9216 or docvicki@msn.com.

First Pond Side Meeting for 2021

By: Dorothy Martinez

Are you ready for our first Pond Side meeting of the year? With the restrictions for COVID being lifted, we are on for our first Pond Side meeting this year. The meeting will be held on Saturday, June 19th at Little Eden Plantscaping.

Instead of doing our usual potluck, we are asking everyone to bring their own lunch and beverage. The event will start at 12:00 pm and end at 3:00 pm. Little Eden is located at 15550 W. 72nd Avenue, Arvada, CO.

Little Eden Plantscaping is one of the largest family-owned plantscaping companies in Colorado. They pride themselves on a huge selection of tropical foliage and high standards of service. Our business is located on a five-acre farm in Arvada, Colorado. The farm has 10,000+ square feet of state-of-the-art greenhouses and shading facilities; which provide the latest in climate control technology. Terry Rennolds, President, founded Big Eden Wholesale and Little Eden Plantscaping in September of 1978. In 1984, Terry purchased a small 5-acre farm in Golden, Colorado (later changed to an Arvada address) and relocated Little Eden Plantscaping. The farm is also home to beautiful seasonal outdoor plants, fresh produce, and a sprawling event space.

For more information about Little Eden Plantscaping, visit their website at https://www.littleeden.com/

Little Eden is providing tables and chairs and an indoor space just in case of inclement weather. All you need to bring is you and lunch for yourself and any guests you bring.

Please join us and discover this hidden gem located right in our own backyard.

For more information, please contact Dorothy Martinez at 303-279-3137 or dam@johnfunk.com.

The Classification System

By: Steve Stroupe

**This article was reprinted with permission from the International Waterlily & Water Gardening Society** (2019 WGJ Vol 34-2, July 6, 2019, Page 18 - 20)

[Editor’s Note: This article was first published on October 8, 2011 in the IWGS Water Garden Journal.]

• How do plants get named?
• What’s the difference between scientific and common names?
• Is there a baby plant name book where proud parents choose names for their new green babies?

Plants are named for the same reason people are named; they have feelings and don’t want to be referred to merely as “hey you,” so sensitive botanists thoughtfully gave each plant their own special name – usually in Latin and/or Greek, and another one in plain English.

The Classifcation System
Along with common names, plants are also classified with indecipherable (to the layperson anyway), but scientifically precise Latin and/or Greek names … (yawn). Why Latin? Because after the Dark Ages it was cool to be smart again and all the really bright people spoke Latin, so … when plants started being named by botanists in the 16th and 17th centuries, Latin was naturally used.

For instance, the familiar Variegated Sweet Flag is written as Variegated Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus ‘Variegatus’). This two-name (binomial) system, which uses genus and species, is altered somewhat when a cultivar (man-made or discovered natural hybrid) is added to the mix. The cultivar name is flanked by single quotation marks and follows the genus or species name. Often the scientific names are italicized and/or enclosed in parentheses. Let’s look at where the name for this plant may have originated.

The Common Name
“Sweet” refers to the sweet, camphor-like fragrance released when the leaves are bruised or crushed. “Flag” comes from the Middle English word “flagge” meaning reed, so the common name means simply, “sweet reed,” and our particular plant is vertically striped with green and yellow, so we have a variegated sweet reed.

Unfortunately, common names vary from region to region and country to country, so to ensure that everyone in the world stays on the same page regardless of native language, scientific or Latin names are also employed. Here is where the binomial naming system comes in.

Let’s Talk Latin and Greek
The Genus name, Acorus, is derived from the Greek word “acoron,” a name used by Dioscorides, which in turn was derived from “coreon,” meaning “pupil,” because it was used in herbal medicine as a treatment for inflammation of the eye. I was unable to determine why this name was specifically applied to Sweet Flag, but it may have had something to do with the fact that these plants used to be lumped in with the aroids [Araceae] … Taro, Golden Club, Arrow Arum, Jack-in-the- Pulpit etc… and may have enjoyed a more discernable connection as a result of its erstwhile classification.

The Species name, Calamus is associated with love, sex, and Greek tragedy, and why not? Kalamos, the son of the river god Maeander from which our word meander is derived (as in meandering stream), was beside himself with grief when his lover drowned in the river, so he was transformed into a reed. When these reeds rustle in the wind it is seen as the lamentations or sighs of Kalamos. Walt Whitman’s poem ‘Calamus’ in ‘Leaves of Grass’ is thought to have been inspired by this story.

The word Kalamos is believed to have a common origin in Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit, which leads scholars to conclude that this word is older than all three languages, possibly Proto-Indo European, which is believed to be the parent language of all three.

What About the Cultivars?
Cultivar names applied to man-made hybrids are usually not that interesting, origin-wise, and can often cause quite a bit of confusion, especially in the water gardening industry. Cultivar names are based solely on the whim of the hybridizer, and can be named after wives, children, in-laws, mistresses, stars, planets, food, gods, places, pets, mythological heroes or famous people … virtually anything at all. Cultivar names must be registered if an official note and record is required by the hybridizer. In the case of our example, ‘Variegatus’ is simply the Latinized form of variegated which refers to different colored zones in the leaf or stem of a plant.

The official registering agency for waterlilies is the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society (IWGS) which was appointed for this task by International Society for Horticultural Science. To correct the confusion in the world of waterlilies, the IWGS has traveled backwards in time to ensure that the varieties which bear their current name are indeed correctly labeled. No mean feat since a lot of popular cultivars date back to the 19th century.

Kirk Strawn, (now deceased), one of the deans of American waterlily hybridizers, playfully articulated this problem by listing Nymphaea ‘Attraction’ in his catalog … in eight different versions in descending order of perceived authenticity, and with corresponding reductions in price. To my knowledge, this is the best satirical articulation of this problem which has ever been offered publicly.

Truth in Naming
A few years ago, it was discovered that one of the most popular hardy waterlilies, a beautiful coral pink cultivar named Nymphaea ‘Fabiola’ wasn’t really ‘Fabiola’ at all, but a brazen imposter. The real ‘Fabiola’ was a much less impressive plant, but was indisputably the rightful owner of that name. The name was returned to its rightful owner amid much furor and fretting, and a new name was given to the old ‘Fabiola’, now christened Nymphaea ‘Pink Beauty’.

Old habits (and names) die extremely hard. Sales of ‘Pink Beauty’ never reached that of the old ‘Fabiola,’ which is very lackluster by comparison, and the rightful, resurrected ‘Fabiola’ still lives in dark obscurity despite the nomenclatural correction. A Pyrrhic victory to be sure.

In real estate law, there’s a legal principle known as “adverse possession”: “Adverse possession is a principle of real estate law whereby somebody who possesses the land of another for an extended period of time may be able to claim legal title to that land.” ‘Fabiola’ the imposter had been “possessing” its name “adversely” for a lengthy period of time, and had become extremely well known and revered under this name. Had not waterlily people been so prickly and exacting about correct nomenclature, ‘Fabiola’ could have still kept its purloined name under “adverse possession” and retained its eminence as one of the nicer pink hardy varieties instead of disappearing off the radar for most hobbyists as a result of the corrected name change.

Another problem which plagues our pond community is the indifference or callous disregard for ensuring that varieties currently being sold are labeled correctly by growers and retailers. This is just plain sloppiness and laziness, and represents a very different problem than the one described above and one which is being addressed by Water Gardeners International (WGI), a nonprofit organization based in Cocoa Beach, Florida, USA, with their Truly Named© Program.

Getting What You Pay For
Truly Named was set up to ensure that waterlilies are correctly labeled and are indeed the cultivar the plant tag says that it is. Waterlily growers, wholesalers, and retailers who are members of WGI have voluntarily committed to providing the home water gardener with plants which, to the best of their knowledge, are true to their labeled name. According to the WGI website, “Many people who purchase waterlilies initially want something pretty and colorful for their ponds. However, as interest and understanding increase, they often desire certain waterlilies, those with recognized names that assure specific characteristics. Truly Named WGI © members believe water gardeners deserve to receive what they pay for and therefore have joined this program to give their assurance that, to the best of their knowledge, they are providing correctly named plants.”

This voluntary program is growing at a steady pace with members from all over the world participating. The WGI website explains, “Consumers who buy from participants in this program have the assurance that everything possible has been done to ensure that varieties being sold are true to name. It must also be noted that there are other reliable waterlily growers and retailers who do this voluntarily, but may not be a member of this program.”

Always an Interesting Story
It’s a fun exercise to just pick some plants at random and see what a wealth of information can be gleaned from their nomenclatural history. One never knows what’s in a name. There’s always an interesting story behind every plant, no matter how ordinary it might appear. And most people think Latin is boring!

For more information on waterlilies, nomenclature, and the Truly Named© program, visit:

International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society
Water Gardeners International
[Editor’s note: This site has been inactive since 2010 and is no longer updated. Nevertheless, a number of retailers still endeavor to follow the aims of the ‘Truly Named’ program.]
Plant Delights Nursery

A Note on the Code of Naming
The rules governing the naming and classification of plants and fungi are contained in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, maintained by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy. The process of naming plants is taken very seriously by the scientific community, and by those who make pretensions to being seen as scientific. Fortunately for us all, not all plant folks are wound so tightly about plant names. Tony Avent, a world-renowned horticulturist and owner of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, North Carolina, which specializes in unusual perennials, has the following delightfully irreverent little blurb about botanical taxonomy in his current nursery catalog.

“We use all means at our disposal to make sure the plants are named using correct horticultural nomenclature. Our primary references include the RHS Index of Garden Plants, Hortus III, Jelitto’s Perennials I & II, et al … If no information exists on a plant, which often happens, we throw a cookout for the neighbors, who after a few drinks begin throwing darts at Jelitto’s Perennials I & II, along with the remainder of Hortus III. When botanists differ on correct nomenclature, we hop in the pickup, find a few taxonomists, and throw darts at them.”

About the Author
Steve Stroupe is an aquatic plant nursery owner, and co-author of three books on the care and cultivation of aquatic plants. He lives in rural Alabama along with hundreds of beautiful aquatic plants.

Premier Vendor Partners