Excerpt from interview with Doug Rowley

The hardy water lilies, the flower will emerge usually right at water level, or maybe one or two inches above the water. And they’re like three to four inches in size. Whereas the tropical water lily actually comes out of the water six to eight inches. And then the flower can be six to eight inches. And even bigger if they get into the bottom mud of the ponds that we have. They really grow well. And leaves that, you have really small leaves on the hardy water lilies up to five and six inches. The tropical water lilies can be twelve inches. It makes a really big show on these really big ponds. So we grow the tropicals because they are showy. We have the heat in the summer for them to do well. So we over-winter them in the greenhouse because they won’t survive. If we left them out, they would die and we’d have to start new plants.