A Visit to the Waterlily Farm of

Dr. Slearmlarp (Sam) Wasuwat

by Byoung Sup Ghill
Click images to enlarge

Every plant lover may have a list of wanna-go places, be they famous botanical gardens or exotic places in remote corners of the world. Dr. Slearmlarp Wasuwat's waterlily farm was one such place for me after reading his story at Victoria-Adventure.


I was privileged to have a chance to visit Dr. Wasuwat's house January 22, 2005, during a short trip to Thailand. Although the temperature ranged 77 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit, it was winter-time there and most tropical lilies at the aquatic plants farms I visited were dormant. But many lilies at Dr. Wasuwat's were showing off their dazzling colors as if they were keen on rewarding a foreign pilgrim from a freezing-cold country (Korea) several hours' flight away.

Dr. Wasuwat's waterlily farm is comprised of some hundred square feet of Victoria pond and several hundred various sized containers. In total, they have over 200 varieties of tropical lilies and some sixty-plus hardies. Dr. Wasuwat in his prime introduced quite a number of new lilies, including 'Choolarp', 'Dang Jiew', 'Dao Fah', 'Fah Takhun', 'Gulyanee', 'Larpchaiyaporn', 'Larp Prasert', 'Luang Ganjana', 'Luang Thong', 'Maeploi', 'Nang Kwak', 'Piyalarp', 'Ply', 'Praow', 'Wiboonlak', 'Yonglarp', etc. The cultivar 'Primlarp' was hybridized by him and named for his daughter. According to Primlarp, they are continuing to create new hybrids and are experimenting with the optimal conditions for different lilies.



 Dr. Wasuwat himself, a jolly and intelligent septegenerian, has lost the vision of one eye and does not seem to be involved in experiments as much as he used to be. He was educated and got his doctorate in the US, specializing in plant breeding. Nowadays, his daughter and son-in-law manage the farm with the help of few hired hands. Primlarp and her partner also make beautiful dry waterlilies and some souvenirs including postcards featuring waterlilies and lotuses.

It's regretable that their website (http://www.thaiwaterlily.com) is only in Thai, limiting the audience. Also some of his books would be excellent reference materials for raising and hybridizing lilies, including Victorias, but they are also in Thai.

I was very lucky to meet him in person have a look at his farm first hand but unfortunately I did not have enough time to share his wonderful insights and experiences. I hope that I can visit his farm again.

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