Andre Leu

Barre Hellquist

Nan Bailey

Well-known experts on and explorers for the Australian subgenus Anecphya go

Waterlily Hunting in Queensland
by Nan Bailey, Cairns, Queensland Australia

Click images to enlarge

I met up with Andre Leu, Barre and Marion Hellquist in Mareeba about mid-morning. Andre lives near Daintree on the coast, about 112 kilometers north of Mareeba, but I live only about 45 kilometers east of Mareeba. Andre collected Barre and Marion from Port Douglas on his way and they checked out some of the lilies by the roadside between Mt. Molloy and Mareeba. I have worked out roughly that the round trip from Mareeba to the dam in the Chillagoe area, and back was about 440 kilometers, so it was a long day's driving for Andre to find these lilies. It was worth it though just to see how big they could grow in the right environment. 

From Mareeba and we headed out west to the Chillagoe area. Along the highway we spotted this dam so stopped to have a look. There were plenty of Nymphoides crenata and Nymphoides indica.


The yellow in the end of the dam is all flowers of Nymphoides crenata. We thought that there were not any Nymphaea immutabilis when Barre spotted what looked like a flower way over at the farthest end. 

N. immutabilis. This is what we found when we went around to investigate. It looks like just one plant, with these four beautiful flowers. 

This is the next lot of waterlilies we stopped to look at. These are also in a large dam, and they are the newly named Nymphea carpentariae. These are the ones usually found around Normanton near Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria. Here they are in all their glory, with their pure white flowers and absolutely huge pads.

Andre and Barre waded off into the shallows to see if they could collect samples of the N. carpentariae, so they could be sure it was what they hoped. The water here was very deceptive! We have had quite a lot of rain this wet season, even out this far into the dry country. 

These are the shallows!!!! Barre had his camera to photograph the flower. Not me! I chickened out and stayed where the water came up to my nether regions and no more. I didn't want to get my camera wet.

Next Andre went into the "deep" part of the dam to see just how deep it was. They needed to try and collect some viable seed pods. He is standing on the ledge where the edge of the dam dropped down to where the lilies were actually growing. 

This photo shows just how deep the waterlilies were growing. Andre said it was at least 3 meters (9 feet) deep where he had to dive to get these samples, and that was at the outer edge of the plants.

  Andre managed to collect some full sized flowers and pads. When you compare the size of the flower to the size of the lily pad, you can see just how huge they are. I was relieved when he finally came back with them. I know I wouldn't have dived down to get them.
N. carpentariae flower. Here is the prize. The flowers were so large it was amazing. 

Profiles - Andre Leu | Barre Hellquist | Nan Bailey

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